Parklets are charming public spaces meant to encourage pedestrians to stay and linger in areas that used to be reserved only for cars. They are aesthetic enhancements to the streetscape, but also a solution for a city’s need for more public space in its commercial corridors. Because potted or street-side landscaping is generally included, parklets are considered to be a form of green space.
Parklets are temporary, usually installed in parallel parking spaces to extend the sidewalk, but they can also be placed in parking lots, any places where there are no parking restrictions, where they won't interrupt bike lanes, or block stormwater management systems.They work well on high volume pedestrian streets and help to calm traffic. In addition to landscaping, they can provide seating, bicycle parking, additional lighting and even art. Each parklet is funded and constructed by a business or community organization, but most are are open to the public and do not require a purchase to use the space. Safety improvements separate parklet visitors from vehicles with bollards, curbs, or other fixed objects.
First seen on the west coast, parklets are popping up in cities all over the country. Fort Lauderdale is one of the first on the east coast to implement specific guidelines and permits, and to promote the concept as part of our sustainability strategy.
In August of 2013, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission approved a pilot program that allowed up to 20 parklets to be constructed throughout the City on roads with a speed limit of 25 mph or less, or along Commercial or Oakland Park Boulevards between Federal Highway and the Intracoastal Waterway. The first parklet is located at Gran Forno bakery on the 1200 block of East Las Olas Boulevard.
Parklets are now part of the Sidewalk Component of our Complete Streets Manual.