In 2015, Cyclehoop designed and installed the UK’s first on-street San Francisco-style ‘Parklet’ in Hackney. This unique and simple design transformed redundant road space in the borough into a sanctuary for people to sit, hang out and relax outdoors. The parklet has been co-funded by Hackney Council using the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund grant, through Sustrans’ Innovation Fund.
The ‘parklet’ is a small urban park that brings seating, cycle parking and a splash of nature to a busy bicycle route. It is based on a design first trialled in San Francisco, which has since been rolled out by popular demand across America and other cities worldwide, turning car parking spaces into spaces for public leisure. It was originally installed on Pitfield Street and then moved to Well Street in September 2015.
Parklets are a simple and low-cost way to improve the environment and help bring more customers to local businesses. The parklet occupies a 2.6m by 8m space and is a decked platform that provides level access from the pavement. It includes cycle parking for six bikes, benches, planters full of grasses and herbs as well as solar-powered decking lighting for nighttime visibility.
Hackney aims to be the most cycle-friendly and liveable borough in London with improved air quality, health, community cohesion and a higher standard of living.
“The parklet offers a perfect place to hang out in one of the borough’s most creative areas. It allows people to read, eat, relax, people-watch and secure their bikes in an area that’s currently lacking in seating and cycle parking.
It is just one small part of our ongoing transformation of Hackney’s neighbourhoods into the most liveable and attractive in London, with cleaner and greener streets, filled with healthier and more active residents. Part of this plan is challenging the assumption that our streets are for vehicles only.
We want residents to tell us directly about where they would like to see more parklets and, if approved, we’ll work with the community to come up with the most appropriate designs.” – Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Sustainability
“It’s possible for our neighbourhoods to be comfortable places, all that’s required is to reclaim some of the space from vehicles and hand it back to people. The Parklet sits alongside other interventions, such as 20mph speed limits, that help make the roads social spaces.” – Ben Addy, Sustrans’ London Communities Manager