Urban beaches offer the pleasures of the seaside without the cost of getting there.

What makes a beach a beach? In some cases, throwing a little sand on the sidewalk does the trick. In the last couple decades, cities around the world have been creating "urban beaches," temporary or permanent parks that offer the pleasures of the seaside without the cost of getting there. Generally, they feature sand, reclining chairs, and a more casual dress code than your average park. Some have sand-castle contests, dance lessons, cocktails, volleyball, concerts and more. Check out these seven urban beaches from around the world.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    Do Driverless Cars Need Their Own Roads Around Manhattan?

    A concept for AV expressways promises to reduce travel times, but falls into an old trap of car-centric planning.

  2. Videos

    5 Ways to Seriously Battle Traffic

    So long as cars are among us, road pricing, ramp meters, and diamond-shaped intersections can mitigate horrendous commutes, a new video explains.

  3. An empty storefront on a sidewalk with a "retail space for lease" sign in the window
    Life

    How Cities Can Save Small Shops

    Some places are already taking action, but New York City is lagging behind. Here’s a blueprint for keeping local retail healthy.

  4. The Salk Institute, near San Diego
    Design

    This Is Your Brain on Architecture

    In her new book, Sarah Williams Goldhagen presents scientific evidence for why some buildings delight us and others—too many of them—disappoint.

  5. Solutions

    An Open Data Hub That Builds Better Citizens

    A new platform from Esri acts like a social network built on civic duty.