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Case Studies 
*Nominee 

Umbrella Sky Project

Agueda

Portugal

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
August 13, 2015
December 22, 2017

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

The Umbrella Sky Project began in 2011 as a part of the city of Águeda's famous annual Ágitagueda Art Festival in Portugal. Each year, during the hot summer months of July, August, and September, a handful of the city’s narrow streets gain colorful umbrella canopies that provide shade for the pedestrians passing through. Rooftop cables are strung with numerous parasols that help cool the roadways in a creative and cost-effective way, and the sea of umbrellas forms a unique geometric pattern overhead as well as changing shadows on the roadway below. Programming like outdoor workout classes give this shaded area an added layer of functionality, enabling high-energy and fitness activities despite high summer temperatures.

Since the project began, these pop-up shade structures have become an annual summertime installation and they have developed a cult following around the world. Creators of the Umbrella Sky Project, Sextafeira, have also launched offshoots of this work in other cities such as Lisbon, where they have added to the streetscape by stringing multicolored balloons over urban alleyways. As with all of their projects, the polka-dot shadows that shine down onto the street below add more color to people’s lives in everyday settings. 

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities

Sociability

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Photo credits, from left: Adam Rifkin via Flickr, Laura via Flickr, Umbrella Sky Project via Facebook

Follow Umbrella Sky Project 

Website: sextafeira.pt

Facebook: facebook.com/UmbrellaSkyProject

Twitter: @umbrellaskypt

Umbrella Sky Project
The installation turns the street into a venue for special events
Umbrella Sky Project
Bright colors add whimsy to the street
Umbrella Sky Project
Umbrella Sky Project
Umbrella Sky Project
Umbrella Sky Project
Umbrella Sky Project
Umbrella Sky Project

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

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