Parklet Resource Guide
A primary consideration in designing parklets is to minimize permanent physical impacts on their location. Typically they are designed to be relatively easily installed and removed as may be required by the City, and the process must be planned and timed in a way that doesn’t interfere with traffic flow.
All parklets must comply with parklet design guidelines. This includes local regulations and design criteria, acquiring all required permits, meeting ADA requirements, maintaining roadway drainage, allowing for access to any below-ground utilities, being properly insured, having community support, and possessing a maintenance plan. Parklets are normally required to have a local steward, usually, a nearby business or group of businesses who accept the responsibility of keeping the parklet clean and landscaping and street furniture maintained.
The best-designed parklets take into consideration all amenities that would benefit the immediate surroundings, such as benches, lighting structures, planters, landscaping, and vegetation that screen the street seating from traffic while still providing vistas across the street. If bicycle racks can be incorporated into the parklet design, it can increase the number of potential patrons at local businesses and encourage more people to travel by bicycle.
When researching the possibility of establishing a parklet in your locality, keep the following issues in mind.
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is a non-profit association that represents large cities on transportation issues. They have created a comprehensive Parklet Guide containing a detailed list of critical, recommended, and optional elements that a Parklet should have, as well as a helpful list of Member Cities.
Pavement to Parks
Pavement to Parks is another source of excellent information, based out of San Francisco where parklets originated. The organization maintains a list of Parklet Programs by City which could be useful depending on your location.
Many cities have published quite detailed information about their parklet design guidelines, including site and design considerations, planning requirements and suggested parklet designs. The following links lead to sites and downloads we have found most useful and informative.