Urban Fold

Parklets Poised To Revolutionize Public Space, In a Tiny Way

Imported from Europe, parklets transform parking spaces into inviting public spaces. They are flourishing in San Francisco, and are poised to invade other cities across the country.

Josh Stephens writes about the growing parklet movement:

"They are multiplying, not by mitosis but by entrepreneurship, all over San Francisco – with Oakland, Long Beach, and other cities in California and elsewhere showing interest."

"'Along any commercial corridor in San Francisco-probably in most places-people like to be outside, and they like to people-watch,' said Andres Power, the director of the Pavement to Parks program at the San Francisco Planning Department. 'It's part of what makes us humans, so [parklets are] sort of a no-brainer.'"

Though the city has to issue permits for parklets, much as they would for other private uses of public space, such as sidewalk cafes or farmers markets, no public money goes into them in San Francisco. Parklets are constructed by "sponsors," which are usually individual businesses or collections of businesses that believe that they will enhance the public realm and even attract customers. For restaurants, a parklet can be a whole new dining room.

Thanks to Josh Stephens

Full Story: 'Parklets' Create Public Space, 120 Square Feet at a Time



Irvin Dawid's picture

SF Chronicle has a parklets' story 3 days later

Funny how that worked out! - Appeared on the front page, no less! S.F. parklets emerge as neighborhood fixtures by John King, Chronicle Urban Design Critic on Friday, July 1, 2011.
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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