Parking Becomes Park in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is opening its first "parklet" -- a small public park space built on street parking spaces.
August 4, 2011, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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It's part of a larger trend in cities like New York and San Francisco to quickly and cheaply create new public spaces.

"Philadelphia has long been eager to get in on the act, but wasn't quite sure where to put a pilot parklet, said Rina Cutler, deputy mayor for transportation. The University City District solved the problem by volunteering this summer to serve as a guinea pig.

'We're hoping this parklet becomes an attraction and people will want to hang out there,' said Andrew Stober, who works for Cutler in the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities. The parklet is across from a busy trolley stop.

Parklets are the newest tool in a kit of low-cost amenities that cities have been using to make urban living more pleasant and to encourage people to linger on the sidewalks. Like bike lanes and farmers' markets, they're cheap and easy to install. Philadelphia's parklet cost $10,000 and was financed entirely by the William Penn Foundation."

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Published on Thursday, August 4, 2011 in The Philadelphia Inquirer
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