Outdoor Dining

People sitting at small tables in a public parklet in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Minneapolis Opens 2024 Parklet Season

The program supports nonprofits and other groups who want to build parklets and outdoor dining spaces on public right-of-way.

February 28, 2024 - Hoodline

Rendering of outdoor dining patio design for New York City street.

NYC Releases Outdoor Dining Designs

New guidelines for the city’s ‘streeteries’ are set to go into effect next April.

October 26, 2023 - Curbed

View of Santa Barbara, California street with neo-Spanish colonial architecture and wooden outdoor dining deck with tables and red umbrellas.

Santa Barbara Renews Parklet Program

The city updated its pandemic-era on-street dining program with new regulations that limit the locations and design of parklets.

October 20, 2023 - edhat

The tops of umbrellas for outdoor dining spaces are visible with large buildings in the background on a sunny day in the city of San Diego.

California Regulators Require Parking Replacement for Outdoor Dining Spaces

The city of San Diego’s Spaces as Places outdoor dining program includes a critical parking requirement mandated by the California Coastal Commission.

August 28, 2023 - La Jolla Light

Enclosed outdoor dining patio on New York City street set up during Covid-19 pandemic

New York City Legalizes Outdoor Dining

Some restaurant owners worry the new requirements will make it too expensive to maintain outdoor dining structures.

August 7, 2023 - The New York Times

University of Wisconsin Madison students walking down LIbrary Mall pedestrian area in Madison, WI

How Food Trucks Promote Walkable Cities

Food trucks, outdoor dining spaces, and parklets are moving the needle toward more people-friendly cities and less car-oriented streets.

July 11, 2023 - CNU Public Square

A street sign reads Old Town Toronto, St. Lawrence Market, Market Street

A Car-Free Summer on Toronto’s Market Street

The I Heart Market Street program will allow pedestrians a car-free space adjacent to Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market.

June 16, 2023 - blogTO

Outdoor dining patio with red umbrellas in Toronto, Canada

Opinion: Toronto is Stifling its Outdoor Dining Program

New regulations and fees for outdoor dining patios, extended from a pandemic-era program, are making the process overly complicated and expensive for business owners.

June 12, 2023 - Toronto Star

Outdoor dining patio built next to a restaurant in Chicago

Chicago Mayor Proposes Permanent Outdoor Dining Program

The mayor’s proposal would create permanent rules for restaurants wanting to continue using their Covid-era outdoor dining setups or build new ones.

May 30, 2023 - Block Club Chicago

Outdoor dining patios on street closed to car traffic in New York City

NYC Announces $30M for Open Streets Projects

The funding is designed to support open streets and public space projects in underresourced neighborhoods.

May 19, 2023 - StreetsBlog NYC

Outdoor dining with bright green chairs on a sidewalk in Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Sets Guidelines for Permanent Parklet Program

With pandemic-era parklet regulations set to expire on June 30, the city is launching a new, permanent set of guidelines for outdoor dining and other uses of curbside space.

May 3, 2023 - Baltimore Sun

Main Street Sign with Traffic Light in the Background in Downtown Houston, Texas

Part of Houston’s Main Street to Be Permanently Pedestrianized

A seven-block stretch downtown will remain closed to cars after the success of a pandemic-era outdoor dining program.

March 30, 2023 - Houston Chronicle

New York City sidewalk with outdoor dining patio with black and white striped umbrellas and black barriers protecting diners from traffic

The Slow Retreat of Pandemic-Era Outdoor Dining Programs Continues

It’s been almost three years since the political dynamics of outdoor dining in the United States shifted, suddenly and overwhelmingly. Increasingly, the status quo is being restored.

March 1, 2023 - James Brasuell

New York City sidewalk with outdoor dining patio with black and white striped umbrellas and black barriers protecting diners from traffic

New York Hires ‘Public Space Czar’

The public space officer will be in charge of making the city’s sidewalks more pedestrian-friendly while keeping streets clean and accessible.

February 19, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

Outdoor dining patio in street in Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, surrounded by white picket fence

Proposed Outdoor Dining Ordinance Could Decimate L.A.’s ‘Al Fresco’ Dining

Restaurant owners say the new regulations proposed by the city for installing and maintaining outdoor dining areas would put them out of reach for many businesses.

February 9, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Covered pergolas for outdoor dining line the curb on Ballard Avenue, Seattle

Seattle Historic District Could Remove Street Dining

Despite the popularity of Ballard Avenue’s outdoor dining pergolas, some district board members argue the patios don’t match the district’s historic character.

February 7, 2023 - The Urbanist

Cyclist rides down green-painted bike lane in Manhattan, New York next to small businesses with colored awnings

Bike Lanes Are Good for Business. Why Don’t Business Owners Believe It?

Proposed bike lanes often come up against opposition from local merchants who believe losing street parking will hurt their business, but research repeatedly shows the opposite effect.

February 1, 2023 - Wired

Empty chairs and tables on sidewalk at a Phialdelphia restaurant

New Philadelphia Outdoor Dining Laws Exclude Most Restaurants

Restaurant owners argue that new requirements for the city’s permanent outdoor dining program are practically impossible for most of them to meet.

January 13, 2023 - Philadelphia Magazine

People sitting at outdoor dining tables next to bike lane protected by delineators and three-story buildings in Dublin, Ireland

Where Car-Free Streets Won Out

While some open streets experiments have met with backlash from community members, others were so successful they led to permanent changes.

November 22, 2022 - Next City

The former parking of Woodies restaurant is filled with empty picnic tables for dining during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Outdoor Dining Parklets No Longer Cheap and Easy

Cities in Santa Cruz County, California are making outdoor dining laws permanent, and some businesses are getting sticker shock at the extra cost of maintaining the pandemic-era expansion of al fresco dining.

November 21, 2022 - Lookout Santa Cruz

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.