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What is a Parklet?
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
, an annual event started by the group
Creative Parklet Designs and Ideas
In San Francisco, the art gallery,
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
San Francisco, CA
ALSO ON THE LIVABLE STREETS NETWORK
Streetfilms: PARK(ing) Day NYC 2007
Streetfilms: PARK(ing) Day San Francisco 2006
Streetfilms: PARKing Day Redux in Park Slope! (2007)
Park Slope Has Its Park(ing) Day
More Park(ing) Day: San Fran Rolls Out the Parkcycle
How Much Potential Park(ing) Space Is There Anyway?
More Park(ing) Day Photos
Myrtle Ave. Parking Spot Becomes a Park and a Classroom
Why Is There A Picnic in my Parking Spot?
Park(ing) Day is Coming
More (Park)ing Photos from San Fran
Parking it in Midtown
Each source is referred to by the same number every time it is cited. Please keep citation style consistent.
Pictures are cited in the order they appear above. Please keep citation style consistent.
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