Spring is upon us, and that means we are all itching to get outside and enjoy our neighborhood. If you made it out to West Philly last summer you may have had a chance to enjoy the city in a whole new way, sitting on a Parklet. Parklets are small platforms that take the place of parking, with seats and tables that allow people to stop, sit and enjoy their neighborhood street life. They can act like a front porch or stoop to hang out on. The University City District partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities to pilot Parklets at 43rd and Baltimore and 36th and Lancaster. It was a serious attraction for the entire neighborhood, and was full every weekend. The parklet, sited in front of the Green Line Coffee Shop, also boosted their revenue by nearly 20%.
Having proven that Parklets work in University City, the City wants to work with other neighborhoods to build Parklets for their own communities. To that end, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) has developed a Parklet Program. This program allows communities from across Philadelphia to request permission to build and maintain Parklets in their neighborhood. MOTU will work with businesses and community groups interested in building Parklets to make sure they are designed safely and fit in well with their neighborhood. You can download the program guidelines here.