Expand Public Spaces


With the social distancing measures and rolling closures of indoor public spaces caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it's become increasingly important to provide safe spaces for people to gather and socialize while adhering to health requirements. In many areas, especially in urban areas, park space is at a premium, and there is a need to expand public spaces. Parklets can help.

Q: We'd like to provide more outdoor public spaces in addition to our parks. What should we consider?

A: Parklets have been gaining popularity throughout North America, and with good reason. Parklets aim to provide the public a place to relax and take in the atmosphere of their city in places where urban parks are lacking or where the sidewalk doesn't have enough space for a vibrant street scene. By providing a spot for the public to pause and enjoy city life, parklets bring energy to the streetscape and can increase foot traffic to local businesses.

Often temporary or seasonal, parklets simply expand the public sidewalk into the streetscape. San Francisco has more than 40 parklets, and the city of Minneapolis is expanding on a pilot parklet program it introduced last year.

Q: Is there a simple way to expand public space via parklets?

A: You can find off-the-shelf parklet products designed specifically for this purpose that will allow you to expand public space effectively and efficiently. Instead of dedicating time and money to design and construct your own parklet, you can get a quick and simple solution.

These parklet products are ideal for municipalities that are looking to increase sidewalk space and enliven their city streets.

A parklet product features a modular decking system with optional railings. With a parklet installed, you can focus on creating the aesthetic of your urban oasis with seating, planters, public art, bike corrals and more.

Q: What else should we consider?

A: When looking for a parklet product, make sure you consider ease of assembly. You want it to be simple to install, but you also want it to be easy to remove if your parklet program will be seasonal, or in case of an emergency that requires the street to be open.

Is the product accessible? Don't overlook this important requirement! Look for parklet products that feature a ramp that allows a smoother transition from the curb to the parklet deck.

Be sure the product is weatherproof and that maintenance requirements are minimal.

Finally, consider the sustainability aspect of the parklet product. Does it employ recycled materials or other eco-friendly materials?