Hackney rolls out first phase of community parklets
Hackney Council is delighted to announce that in the first week of December the first phase of the trial of resident-designed community parklets came to life in the borough.
In July this year, the Council invited individuals and community groups to apply to design and manage a parklet in place of a car parking space with people encouraged to come up with their own ideas as a trial to reclaim the borough’s roads from cars. The Council provided micro-grants and has worked with the local community helping residents install 5 community parklets since November. Each will be managed by local residents.
The community led initiative to repurpose parking bays and improve Hackney’s neighbourhoods are located at: Trehurst Street, Princess May Road, Marcon Place, Malvern Road and Nightingale Road, involving: a community herb garden, a sun porch, and two on street flower gardens. These urban oasis bring the total to 5 parklets with a potential for up to 4 more to follow shortly in 2019.
Philippa Bannister, who collaborated with neighbour Emily Assheton on their community parklet in Marcon Place, said: “We’ve loved making ‘GreenSpace’, our Marcon Place parklet and turning a parking space from grey to green. The street already feels calmer and more interesting with some colour added - we can’t wait to see how the parklet grows over the next few months.”
Emily added: “We hope it can be a catalyst for more community activity - we’d really welcome more people to get involved with maintenance too so if you’d like to be a Parklet Keeper, get in touch!”
Hackney pioneered on-street Community Parklets as a sanctuary for people to sit, hang out and relax following a campaign by local resident Brenda Puech, supported by the Hackney and London Living Streets groups. The community-led initiative was one of six nominees for the Transport Planning Society’s inaugural People’s Award, which recognise the transport planning initiatives making a positive impact in their local area.
We first introduced the parklets concept three years ago and we are extremely pleased that it has evolved to extend to our residential streets. Approximately 70% of our residents don't own a vehicle, yet the kerbside remains dominated by parking. Central to our transport strategy is to reduce the dominance of the car, cut air pollution and make our roads more pleasant places to live. This scheme means we can support residents to make Hackney's streets the most attractive and liveable neighbourhoods in London. It is down to the enthusiasm and creativity of residents that this scheme has injected liveability, community and Hackney’s unique personality into our streets. I think this a great way of encouraging people to become more connected and improve the quality of air and life in an area. If these are successful we will be looking to provide more in the borough.