menu

Five Ways Cities Are Reimagining The Urban Park

Five Ways Cities Are Reimagining The Urban Park
Advertising

"Parklets" are slowly taking over parking spaces across the country. PSFK takes a look at our top five picks.

Karen Baker
  • 7 august 2012

Image via sfist

The parklet movement is taking over the country, slowly moving from its birthplace in San Francisco eastwards. A “parklet” refers to a plot of urban land, usually a parking space, that the city government takes over and turns into a small park. Usually situated in front of businesses (and sponsored by them – parklets cost about $20,000 to develop), they offer an urban retreat for pedestrians to sit, chat, eat and enjoy life outside.

The concept of parklets took root back in 2005 when design agency Rebar transformed a single San Franciscan parking space into a temporary public park. The project turned into an annual PARKing Day dedicated to turning parking spaces into public spaces across the country. San Francisco’s Urban Planning department adopted the movement and to date has created almost 30 permanent parklets across the city. Their success has inspired replica programs across the United States and over the border in Canada. Here we take a look at the some of the most interesting parklets out there, from Philadelphia to Vancouver.

San Francisco

Image via Mark Hogan on Flickr 

Perhaps the most San Franciscan of the city’s parklets, “Deepistan National Parklet” is dinosaur-themed, featuring a triceratops shrub sculpture deep in the Mission District.

San Francisco Pavement to Parks Program

Long Beach, CA

Image via Studio One Eleven

A few hours drive from San Francisco will take you to Long Beach, home to the first parklet in Southern California. Designed by Studio One Eleven, this parklet sits outside of Mexican restaurant Lola’s in the city’s Retro Row.

City of Long Beach Pilot Program

Chicago, IL

Image via Chicago Tribune

Called “People Spots” in Chicago, the Windy City opened its first ever parklet last week at 5228 N. Clark Street in Andersonville. Creative community members helped fund the project through a Kickstarter campaign. Given the climate in chilly Chicago, the spot will stay open through November.

City of Chicago’s “Make Way for People” Initiative

Vancouver, British Col

Image via Urban Places and Spaces

Parklets aren’t limited to the States, much as San Francisco takes pride in leading the way. Vancouver recently opened its second parklet called “Urban Pasture,” adding to the beauty of its first (shown above) called Parallel Park.

Viva Vancouver Program

Philadelphia, PA

Image via Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities

On the East Coast you’ll find a parklet waiting for you in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia’s first parklet celebrates its first birthday this week, sitting outside Greenline Cafe on 43rd Street and Baltimore Ave.

The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities’ Parklet Pilot Program

The cities of Boston and Houston are planning to join the ranks of parklets this year, and so expect to find many more in a city near you.

Advertising
Trending

How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Retail
Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Danah Boyd

Data, Advocacy, Privacy

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned Teaching 7th Grade Math

Bree Groff, Managing Director at NOBL NYC, shares her secrets for knowing your employees and enabling a team

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising september 23, 2016

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.