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How YOUR community can install a Parklet?

How YOUR community can install a Parklet?

As part of our project, we swapped car parking spaces for people friendly places… and here’s how your community can give it a go too.

You can read the full Parklet Project Report here

What is a Parklet?

A Parklet is a reclaimed parking space. They are popular all over Europe and originate from San Francisco, where there was a people-powered movement to create more spaces to rest, relax and re-wild public spaces. 

Parklets are usually built for sitting and socialising, although, there is no rigid structure for what a Parklet can be. Sometimes the spaces include things like gym equipment, bike racks and play areas.

Our project coordinator Pauline said: “Something that is coming out of all the engagement with the community on this project is that people need an opportunity to see what life is like without cars being the dominant mode of transport.”

So… why should you give it a go too?

Why should my community have a Parklet?


They have proven to bring the community together, enhance spaces that were previously unloved and support business by generating footfall and additional spend on local high streets.

Local resident Ben said: “We give a lot of space over to car parking so it’s really nice to be thinking about other ways that we could use the space.”

Take a look at how Chorlton reacted to one of their Parklets on Beech Road.


How do I install a parklet?

UK campaign group Possible, an organisation which just launched a Parklet campaign, says there are two options generally used to install one.

Temporary – parking bay suspension Short turnaround (most councils say five-seven days) and small admin charge (of the order of £50-100).

Permanent – Temporary Traffic Order – Needs 12 weeks’ notice. Can cost up to c. £2.5k.

Our design

Where did we start and what challenges did we face?

Our Streets Chorlton started conversations with relevant officers at Manchester City Council and put forward the idea of a temporary roaming Parklet.

There were concerns from officers regarding safety concerns and no legal basis.

We went away and did further research into what other cities and areas had done to address these issues. As such, we found…

‘Safety concerns’

  • Other parklets have been successfully introduced in other cities that address safety concerns, specifically around pedestrians being closely situated near moving cars
  • There are methods used to protect people who might use the parklet – most common is to create buffer zones at either end 
  • The street chosen is also important and this consideration was put forward in initial planning

‘No legal basis’

  • Technically it appears true that a parklet itself has no legal basis as this guide from Living Streets states
  • But parking bay suspension is one legal basis being increasingly and commonly used by councils 
  • The other is a traffic regulation order (TRO) for which a council can apply for itself or on behalf of others, to make changes to the highway. 
  • There are no known restrictions to what councils can apply for – this would therefore not preclude a parklet on the street

How did we overcome these challenges?

Our amended proposal to Manchester City Council, taking into consideration the areas of concern, made it clear that safety concerns would be considered and also a number of suggestions were made on the legal basis. 

Our aim was to implement the Parklet on private land, to ensure the Parklet of Possibilities project could still go ahead within the time frame of our delivery phase; whilst starting a conversation with relevant officers as to how we can collectively explore permit/permission best route, street selection and safety guidance.

We were able to overcome these challenges and give residents an opportunity to use the space differently – when focused more towards people not cars. 

We hope that our process and learning will help to teach, encourage and inspire other communities to try out a Parklet and reap the amazing benefits of bringing people together in this new way, even if it just starts a conversation. 

Click here for our full

Parklet Project Report.