Spark Program

2018 Pilot Sparks: Left Bae Bae's Kitchen Downtown (Photo: Merritt Chase) Right Onion Maiden Allentown (Photo: Onion Maiden)


The Spark program is part of Pittsburgh's overall strategy for creating safe, complete streets and new open spaces. Sparks (or s-mall parks) are small platforms that take the place of one or two on-street parking spaces and extend the sidewalk to provide new space for pedestrians. Once installed, the semi-permanent Spark encourages more on-street pedestrian activity that in turn supports nearby businesses.  


Sparks are buffered from the street by a railing or barrier and can contain planters, benches, tables, and other creative pedestrian amenities. A few basic rules apply for all Sparks: 

  • They are public spaces; 
  • Commercial activity is not allowed in a Spark; 
  • Alcohol is not allowed in a Spark; and 
  • They must be removed in the winter on some streets. This is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by DOMI. 


For more information on the Spark program, including location and design requirements, please read the program’s Guidelines.

If you are interested in installing a Spark in front of your business and are unsure if you meet the location requirements, it is a good idea to speak to someone at DOMI before starting your application.

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