January 2012 - Parks & Recreation - 12

Who, What, Where & how Around the Parks

Parklets Across the Country

10	 Parks & Recreation   J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 2    w w w . N R P A . O R G

Los Angeles-Neighborhood organizers are

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designing parklets they hope will be the city's first.
New York-A handful of Pop-up Cafes have
opened, with more proposals expected in 2012.

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Oakland-A pilot parklet program launched in
September requesting proposals for up to eight
initial parklets.

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Philadelphia-The city has built two parklets and is
fielding requests for more.

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San Francisco-Twenty-five parklets have opened
since 2010 and the city is reviewing more pitches.

San Francisco

volumes, parklets are ideal for reading
the newspaper over coffee, enjoying a
quick lunch with colleagues, or relaxing
for a midday break. " They're about providing space to enjoy the city and be part
of the chaos and energy and urban greatness, " Power says. " All the richness of being on an urban street becomes part of
the experience. "
On average, parklets can go from an
idea to a completed space in six to nine
months. In some cases, parklets can be
constructed within a matter of days. Others are modular and built off-site.
The typical cost for a two-parking
space parklet can range from $10,000 to
$15,000. San Francisco's first six parklets-
part of a pilot program-were funded by
the city and donations, Power says. " We
really stretched our dollars by getting designers to work with us for free and putting together volunteer installation days. "
Philadelphia didn't put a dime into

Helen Tseng / missionmission.org

isn't ready to cede the " first in the nation "
title. Several years ago, a coffee shop in
the city's Italian Market section put up its
own parklet without fanfare-or permits,
says Andrew Stober of the Mayor's Office
of Transportation and Utilities. The unofficial parklet operated under the radar for
years, until it was eventually granted parklet status, Stober says.
Regardless of where the
trend began, parklets are
in the works in Los Angeles,
Oakland, and smaller cities
nationwide. " This is part of
what we think is going to
be a legacy for us: creating some great new public spaces that are small,
neigh borhood-focused,
and done at a time when resources are extremely limited, " Stober says.
San Francisco's parklet
program is a collaborative
effort by several government
agencies. Philadelphia's
transportation arm-not its
parks department-launched the city's two
parklets. " That's part of the context here, "
Stober says. " There's a larger conversation
going on nationally about how we use our
street space. "
In one hour, two parking spaces are
likely used by no more than four people,
Stober explains. But during a lunchtime
rush, a parklet could be visited by more
than a dozen residents. That realization
led officials to consider better ways to
use city streets. " It's about transportation
folks thinking differently about the space
we manage. "
No two parklets look exactly alike.
Some have benches and movable seating. Others have community message
boards and play areas for children. In San
Francisco, parklets near the ocean are
built with driftwood. " They are individual, " Power says. " They meet the desires
and demands of that micro-location. "
Situated on blocks with high pedestrian

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January 2012 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2012 - Parks & Recreation

January 2012 - Parks & Recreation - 1
January 2012 - Parks & Recreation - 2
January 2012 - Parks & Recreation - 3
January 2012 - Parks & Recreation - 4
January 2012 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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