Somewhere between a green city and a crowded city lives a unique creature—the parklet. Born in New York City and raised from the idea that even the country’s most populous urban centers can support green spaces, parklets are popping up in cities across the country.
Here in Philadelphia, University City is leading the charge with the reintroduction of its own parklet last week at 43rd Street in front of the Green Line Cafe. Occupying only two parking spaces, this 40-foot-long, six-foot-wide mini park is a relatively inexpensive way to make the city more pedestrian friendly. The University City District Parklet, which originally debuted last year, will remain open until mid-October then, dissembled and stored until nice weather in the spring.
Parklets can come in several different designs. University City's has tables and chairs for the public to enjoy, whether or not they are patrons of the Green Line Cafe. Since it is located on the street, an 18-inch buffer surrounds the parklet and even houses a few small potted plants to create a more amenable atmosphere.
Several other parklets are also slotted for opening throughout the city, in places such as Logan Square, Fishtown, Chinatown (10th and Cherry Streets), Manayunk (4360 Main St.), and South Street (1610 South St.). Manuyunk's parklet will be designed by the local sustainable architectural firm, Re:Vision and will be located in front of Volo Coffeehouse. University City District will also open two additional parklets this summer, one will be at the corner of 36th Street and Lancaster Avenue.
So if you’re looking for a place to sit back and relax this summer, find a parklet and help Philadelphia become a more enjoyable place to live, one parking space at a time.