Parklets

We’re going to be running a Parklet Beta.

Are you aware of the idea of Parklets? Here’s also some further information on San Francisco’s Pavement To Parks initiative (thanks to David Andrews for sending on).

(Image credit to San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks programme.)

Here’s a somewhat similar version that Designing Dublin did on Mary Street…

We wanted a trial site that…

  1. Would be reasonably visible/busy.
  2. Wasn’t too busy from a traffic and parking point of view (for both safety to users and inconvience to neighbouring businesses reasons).
  3. Ideally would have an existing barrier at one end (for eg a traffic-controlling extension of the pavement).
  4. Somewhere that would be ‘tended’ or ‘watched over’ by an interested party.
  5. Somewhere that would be ‘enlivened’ by an interested party.
  6. A site where a ‘need’ for a parklet would be reasonably ‘realistic’ – ie somewhere with narrower pavements, or perhaps a lack of planting, and where people might like to be able to sit outside, etc (there’ll presumably be less demand for parklets next to parks with very wide pavements with no obvious requirement for outdoor seating, etc).
  7. Ideally it would be a fairly reasonable place that someone might actually like to sit (ie catch some sun, not excessively noisy, etc).

We walked the Beta Area a couple of times and spoke to others such as Park(ing) Day Dublin, and the owners/organisers inside of some properties, and decided on this spot outside of the Black Sheep bistro pub on Capel Street.

Here’s the proposal by David Andrews, which we expect to be in place for about 2 weeks (from Friday 21st September).

(We’ll update this blog with pictures once it’s in place.)

As it’s a Beta, we’ve also placed some conditions on the use of the Parklet – for example no alcohol to be consumed there.

What do you think of the Parklet idea? How could you see the idea being used, or changed?

From what we’ve seen, in San Francisco, the parklets are treated as public space (same as the street), in Chicago as private space (same as inside a cafe for eg)…which has various implications. Any thoughts with regard to that?

Do you see them working particularly well in certain situations? Here’s a list to trigger some thoughts/debate…

  • Cafe/restaurant/pub
  • Flower shops
  • Book shops
  • Art galleries
  • Cycling shops
  • For cafe seating:
  • For bike parking:
  • As a public gathering space
  • Mini wildlife sanctuaries

Any other thoughts or suggestions that you’d like to share?

Update: 22/09/12

Here’s some photos of the Parklet in place…

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About Dublin City Beta Projects

Dublin City Council are trying a new method called DCC Beta Projects...your input, then quick trials 'on the street', then your feedback! We'd LOVE your help!
This entry was posted in 2. Environmental, 3. Moving About, 4. Safety & Street Hassles, Beta Project macro, Beta Projects, Moving About and Resting, Public Realm, Shane, Siobhan. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Parklets

  1. dubcitybeta says:

    Joe sent us on this link to our Facebook Page – might be of interest… http://designingthelandscape.com/2012/09/20/parking-day-ireland-2012/

  2. I think this is a wonderful idea but also that putting it outside a pub is just about the worst place you could possibly trial it :-( Outside a flower shop or bookshop would be ideal IMHO. Well done for giving it a go and please don’t be put off trying again if outside the pub fails.

  3. Kevin Cannon says:

    Nice experiment.

    Though, boo about the alcohol thing. In most European cities you can drink alcohol in public, and the world doesn’t explode. Shame we can’t allow it in Dublin.

    • dubcitybeta says:

      Thanks Kevin.

      As an experiment we tend to try to remove the more obvious potential issues/barriers, knowing that we can always include them in a later Beta…as there often are enough items to learn, or barriers to overcome with the first version alone…ie we’re playing “the long game”. :)

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