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News & Press: General News

APBP Parklet Project

Friday, September 21, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Steve Lettau
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Cedarburg, WI

To coincide with Park(ing) Day on Sept. 21, 2012, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) announced The APBP Parklet Project. "Parklets convert curb-side parking spaces into new public spaces for seating, greenery, and places to gather and stop,” according to the San Francisco Pavement to Parks which has designed a variety of parklets. Governing Magazine recently called parklets "the latest trend in urban placemaking.”

In launching the venture, APBP Board President Jennifer Hefferan explained, "APBP’s Parklet Project provides information, examples and encouragement our members and other professionals can use to humanize busy streets.” APBP’s Parklet Project was inspired by student member Ruth Miller’s poster on parklets presented at the APBP 2011 Professional Development Seminar in Charlotte, NC.

Additional inspiration for the project came from Urban Designer Ilaria Salvadori of the San Francisco Planning Department who spoke in August at an APBP monthly webinar on Transforming Streets into Inviting Public Spaces. Salvadori highlighted how parklets can enliven local streets by slowing and calming motor vehicle traffic.

To test member response, APBP installed a demo 10x20 parklet as a booth last week at the Pro Walk / Pro Bike® Pro Place conference in Long Beach, Calif. "Hundreds of people were attracted to reconnect and relax in our friendly space,” said APBP Board member Mary Anne Koos who helped install the parklet. Long Beach resident and parklet fan Dianne McNinch [photo] supplied tables, chairs and a patio umbrella [photo]. 

Annually, Park(ing) Day invites placemakers from coast-to-coast to reclaim some of the space surrendered to cars for people by installing temporary parklets (also called pop-up parks). All that is needed is a grass-like carpet, a few chairs, a table or two, some friends, and a little money to feed the parking meter. Parklets originated in San Francisco which held the first Park(ing) Day in 2005.

Innovative cities throughout North America have installed year-round or seasonal parklets to bolster economic development and revitalize neighborhoods.  

Download: All About Parklets (PDF)