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A coffee table book I made for my Parklets project.

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  1. 1. [PARKLETS]Reclaiming excess roadway for the people Fabiola Einhorn
  2. 2. [Introduction] hard to change, as a break from their [What is a we are slowly office desks, the Parklet?] Since the era of the realizing that the problem being that automobile urban outcomes are not there are not many Building small public environments have the best for our outdoor areas in spaces in the areas been dominated by mental and physical their vicinity that feel where pavement and built for the car. wellbeing. But if we inviting. With the or parking is We are growing up don’t do anything $522 million budget excessive is part in a milieu where about it, this mental deficit San Francisco of the Pavement the sound of horns state will continue is facing for the to Parks program and motors are to be socially upcoming fiscal year, initiated by Gavin our lullaby, and the transmitted. it doesn’t seem like Newsome at the new Volkswagen is a good idea to start beginning of this number one on the Essentially 25% of any big and costly year. It started as a birthday wish list. San Francisco is building projects. small idea inspired The car has become paved streets And this is where by urban design firm a necessity almost dedicated to mainly the parklets come Rebar’s Park(ing) independently of cars, which is into the picture, Day project and where you live, more than the total costing only $7,000 New York cities because the amount of parks in to $35,000 apiece. developments environment forces the city . In these towards the same it to be. We built this increasingly direction. The first environment. And sedentary times, step was to put out now it’s extremely people are craving some chairs on the01
  3. 3. intersection ofCastro and 17thStreet and seehow the publicreacts to it.The response wasboth impressive andimmediate, whichultimately led to thecurrent CastroCommons parklet.Each parklet isintended to bea temporaryexperiment opento the public, whichcan be dismountedand rearranged atany time. The spaceis constantly beingevaluated for thepotential of being apermanent public 02
  4. 4. open space. It all depends on how the community responds to it – it’s a people’s project. Documenting and highlighting the reactions towards the parklets project therefore becomes vital for the cities development, which is why I chose this as a topic to observe.03
  5. 5. [DivisaderoStreet Parklet]Two parking spacesare tuned into thisparklet, providingwell-needed extraspace to the verynarrow sidewalk thatis most of the timehighly trafficked. Theentire space ismovable and built ona specific deckingproduct that wasdonated to thecity from BisonInnovative Products.The deck isconstructed fromsustainablyharvested woodand contains threetables, ten chairs, 04
  6. 6. a bench, three bike racks, solar powered lamps and landscape planters to achieve a border from the street. The over all development is based on many donations and volunteer work, and was also constructed in two days with many low cost and green materials.05
  7. 7. 06
  8. 8. [22nd Street Parklet] The parklet at 22nd and Bartlett Street is designed by Rebar Group and is truly an exceptional space. Many people where involved and are still involved in the maintenance of the area. These include Revolution Café that is right in front of it, Escape from New York Pizza that is next to it and Lolo Restaurant further down on the street. The elevated surface is constructed out of bamboo, an environmentally07
  9. 9. friendly andrenewable resource,and the landscapingare low-waterspecies. The spacehas six bike racksthat are nicelydesigned, andseveral creativeseating areas andtables. The nicething about thisspace is that it is aninnovative way ofseeing interactiondesign, andintegratesseveral uses in one.The organic curvesdo not suggest atable or seat, sono connotationsor pre-conceivednotions are made. 08
  10. 10. This allows the user to be entirely free. You also realize how this construction makes people come together. Normal rules of proximity seem to not matter, as long as everybody can fit and have a good time. I passed by one day and the place was packed with people, smoking cigarettes, drinking and strangers speaking to one another. It felt really alive.09
  11. 11. All kinds of peoplehang out here, andit is quitecosmopolitan,according to thepeople working atRevolution Café.Not only do manydifferentnationalities meethere, it is also anattempt to achievethe same vibe thatespecially Europeancountries have attheir many openplazas. People reallycome togetheran enjoy life,the employee tellsme. And this is alsowhat the pavementto parks program isstriving towards. 10
  12. 12. 11
  13. 13. [CastroCommons]I have through thecourse of theseweeks visited threeof what hopefullywill become twelveparklets here in SanFrancisco. The firstone to be made, andvisited, was theCastro Commonsparklet at 17th andCastro Street. Ithas also recentlybecome the onlypermanent parklet inthe city. This placewas before a largeintersection, andmuch of it was noteven used by thecable cars or cars. 12
  14. 14. So, a couple of movable chairs and tables where placed there. And soon enough salvaged granite curbs and planters where to be found strategically positioned to serve as a periphery from the busy street. The asphalt was also painted in another color, all done by the local design firm Public Architecture in two days.13
  15. 15. [Conclusion]My interviews andobservations provedthat the parklets arenot only well neededfrom a statistic pointof view, but thecities effortto democratize thepublic space is aproject lead by theinhabitants of SanFrancisco them-selves. The objectiveto reclaim excessroadway for thepeople has beenmet very positivelyand successfully.Not a lot of spacehas been used, but ithas been especiallywell used. 14
  16. 16. The parklets have succeeded in bringing the community together, and serving as a meeting point for people in the area. The parklets are considered safe, even though occasional “undesirable” people visit the area. My conclusion that this is inevitable and should not cost the rest of the citizens a less pleasant environment. Despite the “undesirables” sometimes-unruly behavior they are15
  17. 17. considered a naturalpart of SanFrancisco, andthe people whomI spoke to do notexpect a park to notinclude all habitantsof a city. The ideaof exclusion hasalready proven byhistory to be veryunsuccessful, asthe “undesirables”and criminals seekempty spaces. Thepavement to parksprogram isconsequently a steptowards the rightdirection - towards apost-modern urbanplanning. 16
  18. 18. An architectural an area a la Jane design that is Jacobs. Parklets like working for the these give the people, not against opportunity to relax them. Hopefully in an urban setting, in the near future to acknowledge urban environments rather than deny the will look more like urban culture we these, and maybe a are all part of. parklet can contribute to gentrification in a poorly used area or district. Yes, the parklets are unexpected, but this is exactly what we need to strive for mixed-use spaces where roads, cafés, accommodation, offices and nightlife can all be evenly distributed through17