Before we begin this article, let’s first address the elephant in the room: what exactly is a parklet.
A parklet is basically an extension of the sidewalk, which provides more amenities and facilities to the pedestrians, scilicet, seating, refreshment, ample space to take in the activities of the street and a place to rest. As Wikipedia describes it, parklets are meant for the people, a place for them to rest (which is mostly adjacent to a parking space), and is at times a space not meant to accommodate people but to plant greenery and/or some visual comfort. To make a précis: a parklet is an extended sidewalk, which can be used by the people using the street to rest, be seated, park their bicycles and/or to just take in some artistic pleasure.
Here’s what a parklet looks like,
And here’s a somewhat of a blueprint of a parklet
Now that we know what a parklet is, let’s delve deeper into this topic. India lacks this incredible facility of parklet. Sure, there are some in the Connaught Place region (Delhi) and some in Saket (Delhi), but these are not as good as the ones that are to be found around the world. Now not to add salt to your (read our) wound, but here are eleven parklets (designs and ideas) that you (again, read we) wish were there in your (yet again, read our) city.
- Parklet in Eagle Rock
Isn’t this parklet truly picturesque? This parklet provides the people a chance to exercise, play and relax – all three of which are required for a healthy and happy life. We urge you to just imagine what it must be like to be seated on such a parklet, with all your friends (and maybe your pet), and just spending the day there. Wouldn’t that be fun? Also, just look at the architecture of the parklet. Not only does it provide a great place for comfort, it also adds to the beauty of the city and could serve as an appealing factor to innumerable people. Way to go Eagle Rock, way to go.
- Parklet in Vancouver
Okay so this is the “Urban Pasture” on Robson Street, Vancouver. The primary bourne of this parklet is to provide the pedestrians with a space to relax and sit upon, whilst they spend time in the popular retail corridor, which gets quite busy. The parklet is planted with a verdant surrounding and a modernised look, the seating is comfortable and fair to say, it also adds to the commercial status of the city. Wouldn’t we all want this on one of the busy retail corridors of our cities, such as Janpath or Sarojini Nagar?
- Parklet in San Francisco
So this one of the most artistic parklets we have come across. The parklet is a feature added by Luna Rienne Gallery’s and certainly adds an artistic quality to the entire street. The parklet’s idiosyncrasy adds a fantastical element to the street and not only is it attractive; it is also a great place to find comfort in. Yes, people, our cities lack such parklets but we can all be sure of one thing: we need them; not only for ourselves but also to add another charm to our nation that the foreigners can enjoy.
- Parklet in Philadelphia
This is a parklet on the Logan Street (no Astonishing or Uncanny X-Men are going to make an appearance here though) and is a quite rudimentary form of the parklet. The parklet provides a resting place for the pedestrians and its use of wooden trunks as seats and the foliage in the background give it a nice natural touch, which certainly adds to the greenery of the city. Now we do not need to highlight the advantages of having such a parklet in your city, they are indeed quite obvious. The parklet gives you the pleasantness of the natural world in a commercial world. In the contemporary society, this has become like a need for us.
- Parklet in Los Angeles
This parklet is located on the York Boulevard in Los Angeles and is certainly one of the most creative parklets we have seen. The reddish hue, along with the intricate pattern on the benches, with the pulchritudinous contrast made by the colours intensifies the elegance of the entire parklet, and in extension, the city. The parklet is a great place for relaxing, taking some photographs and taking in the view of the street. It does check all the requirements to be a parklet.
- Parklet in London
Yet again, it is quite understandably true, that is a work done by a virtuoso and is one of the most innovative concepts for a parklet. This beautiful parklet is located in London, built by WMB Studio and as is evident, adds an entirely different artistic element to the ambience of London. Admit it, wouldn’t you want to visit this place, click a photograph or two and just spend some time on these unconventional benches? It’s creativity at its best and we certainly need this in our cities.
- Parklet in Seattle
This beautiful and artistic parklet is primarily a place for the pedestrians to rest and take in the view of the street, or maybe enjoy the weather. But let’s just look at it a bit more carefully and we are sure, all of us will be able to appreciate the beauty that it adds to the entire mise en scene. The chairs, the greenery and the wooden platform, provide a more country feeling to the parklet and maybe even a French appearance. We guess all of us can imagine enjoying a cup of joe while reading a book or having a lively conversation with our friends, can’t we?
- Parklet in Adelaide
Adelaide’s popular for a lot of its architecture and its parklets are no different. As is evident from the photograph, the parklet adds an artistical and a nonchalant air about the parklet, and the city. We all love to enjoy a lazy evening, relax every once in a while without caring much about the world and just stretching out our legs to give them some rest, and walking is something we all get tired from after some point. What better to rejuvenate our legs than to sit on beanbag chairs right on the street and that too, whilst being surrounded by greenery and the every busy hoi polloi? It certainly seems like a dream for us but not for the people of Adelaide.
- Parklet in New York
Big Apple and its architecture, quite famous, aren’t they? New York is popular for its hip art and voguish buildings, and the same could be said for its parklets. As is shown in the photograph, this parklet is an amazing blend of vibrant colours with the basic colours of the metropolis. The parklet is designed in a fashionable manner and is located right near the parking. It provides an easy place of comfort for the walking masses, doing all sorts of work. Needless to say, we certainly do need this.
- Parklet in Glasgow
This is often described as the first parklet of Glasgow and could hardly be considered anything less than an architectural masterpiece. It is located right next to the traffic junction and provides an easy place for comfort. The parklet is given nice touch of wooden platform, blends in nicely with the dominant hue of red and there is even a shade provided along with the greenery. The parklet is by all means a beautiful place to relax in, and what’s more, this is just an extended sidewalk.
- Parklet in Sao Paulo
This is the last one from us, folks, and we feel this beautiful, foliage-filled parklet from Sao Paulo provides a nice closure to the list. This parklet is located in Sao Paulo, a metropolis in Brazil and as is quite apparent, it not only gives your tired legs a place to rest in but also, provides visual appeal, much inspired from nature. The parking is located just next to it (as is shown in the photograph) and is visibly a comfortable place for any person. We feel this is yet again another wonderful work of architecture and design.
We feel it wise to end the article with a certain note, that the motive of this article was not to compare any two nations or to eulogise any nation; rather, the only motive behind writing this article was to celebrate the beauty of the varied parklets that there are, underscoring the elegance with which they have been created and simultaneously, conveying the message across to the readers, that there are things which are yet to develop and are not at all far from home. The choice of presenting parklets from around the world was solely to just present the idea of a parklet in its in-situ light, adding its cultural significance, instead of just picking photographs from the internet without knowing about its whereabouts, thereby lacking depth.