Parklets enhance our neighborhoods by adding beauty and whimsy to the streets of our city. They refelct the diversity and creativity of the people and organizations who sponsor and design them. There are no two identical parklets. And there is no single definition of what a parklet can be.
Parklets provide the community with opportunities to encourage diversity. A parklet can be a place to meet new people or display one's art or music. A parklet can be a conversation starter; a touchstone for new ideas. Parklets also add to the diversity of culture at a given site.
Many people feel threatened by the urban jungle. Parklets can be a vital sanctuary from turbulent environment around us all. Parklets can be filled with plants and flowers and envigorate the senses. A parklet can be treated as a sculptural piece and can enhance the streetscape with something pleasing to the eye. The possibilities are endless!
Business owners can utilize a parklet as an increase in seating area for their customers. Citizens can utilize parklets as a place to stop and prepare for an interview with a potential new boss. Bicyclists can use a parklet as a safe place to lock up their non-motorized transportation. Local artists can make use of the added space to show off their new creation.
What is a Parklet?
A parklet is a park within a parking spot. A parklet repurposes part of the street into a public space for people. Cities across the nation have caught on to this intriguing idea. Parklets provide amenities like seating, planting, bike parking, and art. Parklets can be funded a variety of ways but they are publicly accessible and open to all.
From Pallets to Parklets
Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. Pallets are an excellent source of building material. They usually pile up behind your neighborhood building supply stores only to end up in a landfill or be taken away and burned. If you can haul them away, you can usually get pallets for free.
The concept for our Prototype Parklet was simple - Provide a seating area for 4 to 6 people and a base roughly the size of a parking spot. The Parklet can then be put up anywhere there is an open spot available.
In theory, pallets are an excellent source of building material. In practice, deconstructing a pallet to get the building material can be a tricky process. And free pallets are often not in great shape. So, choose carefully and look for pallets with strong boards and the fewest splits.
Local businesses were contacted and expressed interest in the concept of a Parklet near their location. The YES group then created mockups of the storefront for each of these businesses. We split up into groups and created simple massing studies to show a rough approximation of what a parklet might look like in these locations.
the Design Team