More and more cities are looking at Parklets to enhance livability in cities. Parklets offer unique opportunities for businesses to extend their offerings to the street. From seating areas to interactive playgrounds, Parklets have proven to be fun, fashionable, and free wheeling.
In Columbus, Ohio, urbanist advocates have been looking at ways to create pedestrian-friendly pockets in typically car-oriented stretches. By removing a few of the parked cars, and opening the spaces to the people, activists are finding that there are ways to change the ways that we interact and view our cities. Instead of looking at a parking space in a traditional sense, people are now seeing that there is more worth when they are transitioned into productive people zones. Of course it is important to identify the key places to do this, where the initiative will be most productive.
Buffalo has been experimenting with this type of Parklet concept with its annual PARK(ing) Day, but that is fleeting (although instrumental). The power behind the Parklet is to apply for City permits, to claim parking spaces or alleyways for more progressive purposes that can help to build neighborhoods.
Hopefully we can continue to push the envelope via PARK(ing) Day, while taking notes from the pages of cities such as Columbus, so that we can continue to make more urban neighborhoods a better place to live, instead of simply places to park.
Photo: Transit Columbus