The Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities has released a pretty constellation in the night sky (above) to demonstrate the way that last year's parklet boom fostered economic growth. Philly's Parklets Program invites neighborhoods to transform two parking spots into a communal gathering place, with greenery, chairs and tables. When the parklet is in place in front of a business, it can help juice sales. To note two University City examples, Honest Tom's Tacos saw its sales increase by 40 percent while the Green Line Cafe on Baltimore Avenue saw an increase of 15-20 percent.
In 2013, there are already two parklets being planned for Chinatown and Manayunk but there's plenty of time to apply. But community buy-in is essential. Along with plans for the parklet that have to be approved by the Streets Department, applicants also need to submit:
(1) letter(s) of support from the property owner(s)
(2) letters of support from adjacent property owners
(3) letters of support from the district councilperson
(4) a petition indicating that 51% of residents and/or business owners on the potential parklet's block are in support of the parklet For a more controversial take on a parklet, check out San Francisco's latest: "the severed front and rear of a small gray Citroen van." Gruesome!
· Parklets in 2012 and 2013 [MOTU]
· Split opinion on SF parklet made of van [SF Chronicle]
· Well-Coiffed Expert on Public Spaces Extols University City [CPHI]
· Invasion of the Parklets Continues [CPHI]