August 2, 2012
University City District’s Pop-Up Parklets Return For A Second Year, Turning Parking Spots Into Activated Public Spaces
When it comes to public space, Philadelphia delivers.
From the city’s famous squares and parks to temporary spaces like the PHS Pop-Up Garden, there are plenty of places to rest and enjoy the cityscape.
But how about a park no bigger than two parking spaces?
Last year, University City District (UCD) introduced their first “parklet” on the east side of 43rd Street on the corner of Baltimore Avenue. There, visitors could enjoy the sights and sounds of West Philly along with sandwiches and coffee from nearby Green Line Cafe. There was another parklet on the 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue.
This year, the parklet returns to its 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue location with the promise of more to come.
Recently, UCD announced their newest plans for yet another parklet to take over two parking spaces (so a double parklet, this time around) on the east side of 44th Street (261 S. 44th Street), right in front of two local favorites: Honest Tom’s Taco Shop and Lil’ Pop Shop.
Due to resurfacing projects occurring in University City, the newest parklet is slated to open in mid-August. Keep an eye on UCD’s official Facebook for updates. There will be four UCD parklets in total for 2012.
Inspired by similar European structures, these forty-foot-long, six-foot-wide mini parks decorated with planters, railings and colorful cafe tables and chairs provide pedestrians with a place to gather and enjoy the neighborhood.
UCD is also exploring options for keeping these mini-parks open during colder months. We hear the trend may also be catching on in other neighborhoods, including Chinatown, Logan Square, Fishtown, South of South Street and Manayunk.
But for now, enjoy a summer afternoon reading a book, relaxing or people-watching in these tiny parks. And be sure to keep an eye out for other parklets sprouting up near you!
University City District’s Parklets
261 S. 44th Street (to open in mid-August) and 4239 Baltimore Avenue