By Alicia DiGiovanni and Mark Lauterbach, Philadelphia Neighborhoods
The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilitieshas started a parklet pilot program. The parklets are designed to look like mini parks. They are small platforms that extend sidewalks out to the street and replace parking spots with seats and tables.
The purpose of the parklets is to allow people to stop, relax and take pleasure in the neighborhood around them.
The first parklet will appear on 10th and Cherry Streets. It is going to be built over the no-parking zone that is currently located there.
John Chin, executive director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, has a positive perspective on the idea of the parklet. “I think we are creating a park space in a community that has very little green space. We are trying to create a more public space in Chinatown,” he said.
The parklet will be enclosed by a three-foot bamboo fence. It will have plants and cafe tables.
“We think people will definitely use it. It’s just one block north of the Chinatown Friendship Gate,” Chin said. The gate is an international landmark and has become popular among tourists.
“It will provide more amenities for the people,” Chin said.
The parklet is expected to be completed by the end of July.
This summer Alicia DiGiovanni and Mark Lauterbach will bring Eyes on the Street and PlanPhilly dispatches from Chinatown and Callowhill as part of their work for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a publication of Temple’s Multimedia Reporting Lab. PlanPhilly is a Philadelphia Neighborhoods partner.