Last Thursday, Downtown Los Angeles celebrated the opening of two parklets along Spring Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets, a week after the city’s first parklet opening on Highland Park’s York Boulevard. The southern parklet, pictured above, features a number of seating options, several planters, two stationary exercise bikes, and a foosball table, all packed into road space which formerly accomodated two parked cars.
Parklets are miniature public parks built adjacent to the sidewalk on space which would otherwise be used for curbside parking. Widely regarded as a relatively low-cost public enhancement to urban streets, they have grown increasingly popular among planners thanks to a growing commitment to shared streets and active public spaces. Los Angeles now joins a small but growing group of major cities with developing parklet programs, including Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco (where the concept originated).
Currently, Los Angeles’ parklet program remains in its pilot phase, during which its effects will be monitored, pending potential expansion. More information on the conception and implementation of Los Angeles’ parklets can be found in some of the ample media coverage that they received at the time of their opening.