University City District – a nonprofit neighborhood development organization in Philadelphia recently released a study quantifying the impact of Parklets in Philadelphia neighborhoods. A parklet converts an on-street car parking space or under utilized public space into a small park usually with tables, chairs and other site amenities. The report’s data provides a snapshot of six Parklets located in Philadelphia during 2013. The study may be found at The Case for Parklets
The study reports the following – 1) Parklets located near the right types of businesses will bring neighborhoods together. Two critical components for a successful parklet – a business with interior seating and a high turnover rate and large windows that connects a business interior with the parklet. 2) Parklets attract an even mix of men and women. 3) Businesses experienced a 20% increase in sales in the two weeks following installation of the parklet. And 20 to 30% of the users were not customers of the adjacent businesses. 4) The primary parklet activities consisted of eating or drinking and talking with others. Other activities included reading, communicating via telephone or other devices, playing and just hanging out.
If parklets have been on your radar for implementation but you’ve been turned off by the high cost associated with constructing custom parklets, take another look. But this time, consider standard off -the shelf parklet components and save yourself 30% to 60% of the cost associated with custom units.
Transforming the height of street level parking spaces into sidewalk height space is simple using Versipave and Spirapave deck support pedestals. The pedestals are available in a variety of adjustable heights from ¼” t0 48”. Parklet surfaces may be constructed with Boulevard Upscale Urban Wood tile squares or planks.
Create outside edge safety walls with freestanding fiberglass planters that work within the platform grid module. Add privacy screens to the planter with planter supported trelliage panels. Select café style seating and tables in both folding and portable models to round out the eating and conversational seating.
For those seeking group type activities or additional public engagement with the parklet space, outdoor table tennis, large scale chess and checkers or outdoor foosball tables can create activity zones. And for those seeking more protection against slow moving traffic, large planters and concrete bollards are the answer. Should converting a few parking spaces near parklets into bike parking spaces for the bicycling community seem like a sensible idea, temporary and seasonal bike parking corrals are a no brainer.
Off the shelf parklets are simple to design and install. The design and implementation window is short since almost all of the parklet items are off the self and available with short delivery times. There’s no compromising on design flexibility and the cost for off the shelf parkets are a fraction of the cost associated with custom parklets. Visit the streetscapes catalog for more ideas