Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 15

KATHLEEN COREY

THE

PARKLET

EXPERIMENT

UPFRONT | PROLOGUE

EN_IT HAS bEEN almost a year since
Vancouver's French Quarter parklet
opened to the public, and neighbours
spilled into the street to welcome
Main Street's newest public space.
From the outset, the parklet brought
people together. The mini park, which
spans just two parking stalls and
bridges the boulevard to the sidewalk,
is a community collaboration led
by designers of PWL Partnership
Landscape Architects and sponsored
by Anne-Geneviève Poitras, owner of
the fronting business, Chocolaterie
de la Nouvelle France. Its landscape
attracts passersby with its customdipped triangular benches, slatted blue
highlights, and low-lying plantings. It is
often the site of community activities,
from an independent play to a Museum
of Vancouver event and CityStudio's
travelling piano installation.
The success of the French Quarter
parklet is telling, because parklets are
relatively new phenomena. In shape
and size, the parklet newcomers on
Vancouver streets were inspired by
2005's first PARK(ing) Day, when San
Francisco-based Rebar plugged parking
meters, set down turf and furniture, and
invited the public in - for a day. By 2010,
San Francisco's Planning Department
institutionalized PARK(ing) Day, fusing
it with New York City's Plaza Program
model to introduce their first semipermanent parklet. Vancouver launched a
parklet in the same year, and thereafter,
operating under City of Vancouver Street
Activities Branch, VIVA Vancouver
installed two further parklets before
launching a stand-alone parklet program
in June 2013.

The French Quarter is Vancouver's first
parklet installed under the new program,
permitted for at least five years with
an annual renewal fee. However, the
approvals process was challenging with
nine months from conditional approval
to permitting. While parklets should
be built to last, quality and durability
expectations should be proportional
to the parklet's intended life-span and
use. In order to get more parklets built,
placemakers would benefit from more
flexibility and an expedited permitting
process that gives room to experiment.
With several innovative parklet designs
on the ground, Vancouver's next
challenge is to match the speed and scale
of San Francisco's program - which now
boasts four dozen parklets.

KATHLEEN COREY is a university of Guelph MLA
graduate and BCSLA Intern at PWL Partnership
Landscape Architects. Her thesis case study
on parklets in Vancouver was sponsored by the
Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation.
As one of the designers of the French Quarter
parklet, she specializes in carving out small urban
landscapes to reclaim forgotten spaces in our
cities. kcorey@pwlpartnership.com

pwlpartnership.com

MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER PUBLIC INTERVENTION,
JUNE 2014 | INTERVENTION PUBLIQUE DU
MUSÉE DE VANCOUVER, JUIN 2014
PHOTO KATHLEEN COREY

2015 vol. 17_no. 1 15


http://www.pwlpartnership.com

Landscapes - Spring 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2015

To Being With | Pour Commencer
The New Small | Le Microcosme Réinventé
Paula Meijerink, Guest Editor | Rédactrice invitée
EN_LP+ | Small Matters: Backgrounder
FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Writers | Collaboratuers
Je Vois Montreal
Upfront | Prologue
Forêt urbaine
Urban Braille
Find Your Pebble
Folly Forest
Parklet Experiment
Klynstra Scholarship
Prix 2014 Schwabenbauer
The Common Sense Curb Cut
Essay | Essai
Doggy Style
Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Tiny Taxonomy
Lying Down in Public
Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
A Non-Urban Approach X3
New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Opinion
Critique
The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Writers | Collaboratuers
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Je Vois Montreal
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Common Sense Curb Cut
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 14
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Essay | Essai
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Doggy Style
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 26
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 29
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Tiny Taxonomy
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 33
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 36
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Lying Down in Public
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 40
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 44
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - A Non-Urban Approach X3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 47
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 51
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Opinion
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 56
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover4
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