What is a Parklet?

picture-4.png
A
 parklet 
is
 a 
small
 urban
 park 
or 
plaza
 created
 by
 building 
a
 platform 
level
 with 
the
 sidewalk 
in
 the
 parking
 lane,
 effectively extending the sidewalk for the length of the parklet. Parklets are usually
 one
 to
 three
 parking
 spaces
 long.
 They
 can
 include
 elements
 such
 as
 benches,
 tables
 and 
chairs,
 trees,
 greenery,
 umbrellas,
 bike
 racks,
 art
 and
 other
 elements
 that
 reflect
 the 
unique
 character
 of
 the
 neighborhood.
 Acting
 as
 mini
 sidewalk
 extensions, 
they create
 more
 space
 for
 people
 in
 areas
 where
 public
 parks
 and
 plazas
 are
 lacking
 or
 where
 existing
 sidewalks 
are
 too 
narrow
 to
 accommodate 
vibrant
 street life.


Parklets
 are
 usually built
 out
 of
 semi
 permanent
 materials
 and
 are
 installed
 in
 a
 way
 that
 does
 not 
require
 reconfiguring 
the 
roadway
 or 
pouring
 concrete.
 They 
are 
usually
 sponsored
 and funded by
 a
 local
 business
 or
 organization
 that agrees
 to
 take responsibility for maintenance. However, 
despite private sponsorship, 
they 
are
 public
 spaces
 just like public parks, and
 are
 not
 limited 
to 
customers 
or 
patrons
 of
 the
 host.


Because
 they
 do 
not
 require
 reconfiguring
 the
 roadway
 and
 are 
sponsored
 by 
a 
private 
entity,
 parklets
 are
 a
 much
 faster
 and
 less
 expensive
 way
 for
 a
 city
 or
 town
 to
 bring
 sidewalk
 improvements
 and 
streetscape 
enhancements 
to
 a
 neighborhood, while often energizing economic activity.

Semi-permanent parklets, like those found throughout the streets of San Francisco, originate from the day-long parklet installations on Park(ing) Day, an annual event started by the group Rebar.

Creative Parklet Designs and Ideas

In San Francisco, the art gallery, Fabric8 hosts temporary installations on their paklet platform. When the temporary installations come to an end, the temporary structure is put up for sale, providing a ready-made option for new parklet hosts.

Cities with Parklets

A number of cities throughout the United States are encouraging residents, businesses, and neighborhood groups to sponsor semi-permanent parklets through special permits or parklet programs. The following is a list of cities linked to more information on their respective parklet programs.


New York, NY
Oakland, CA
Philadelphia, PA
San Francisco, CA


Permitting


Design Guidelines


Parklet Research



ALSO ON THE LIVABLE STREETS NETWORK

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REFERENCES

Each source is referred to by the same number every time it is cited. Please keep citation style consistent.
[1] Streetfilms
[2] http://www.parkingday.org
[3] Streetfilms
[4]

PICTURE REFERENCES

Pictures are cited in the order they appear above. Please keep citation style consistent.
[1] http://www.parkingday.org/background/index/html
[2]

FURTHER READING