Pocket parks or parklets and have contributed a great deal to cities within the last few years. Pocket Parks are the name given to small areas of the urban environment or other underused public  spaces  that are transformed into Parklets.  

Image Source: http://www.pocketparksnyc.com/the-blog/category/history/2

These may be temporary or permanent and are usually comprised of seating and planted areas. 

The idea, origininating within the USA, has spread throughout the states into Europe and the UK, where they are becoming increasingly popular. Some parks are created as a temporary feature within parking bays on a street to pedestrianise or 're-claim' the street. The positive response, will of the people and increase in footfall for the nearby venues has helped to make them more of a permanent feature. The 'Pocket Parks' are subject to the constraints of the ciity. Due to their nature, they can be a positive addition to the streets for some businesses and a negative factor for those who rely on their customers parking outside.

The Parklets have been the most successful when positioned outside cafes, bars and resturants where there has been a significant increase in turnover. Parklets offer respite from the city for its inhabitants and visitors alike. They offer a restorative environment for workers away from the stresses of the city. They provide little green corridors for wildlife such as pollinators to visit and help cool and improve the air quality in towns and cities. Any green spaces that use rain positively help mitigate some of the localised flooding events becoming increasingly more common in the built environment due to climate change.

It would be great to see Pocket Parks in Nottingham to add to the green space available within the city and animate some of our very grey public realm. These parks can be 'popped up' anywhere there are gaps between buildings or un-loved corners of the city. Their presence offers a great benefit to urban spaces and the reaction from city dwellers has been shown to be positive. Evidence shows that if you create positive spaces for people they usually respond positively to them. Its has also been demonstrated successfully that by adding green space to areas of cities that have seen a decline can act as a stimulus and have a significant effect on the regeneration of those areas.

Please click the link for more information on Pocket Parks and their origin and there is a great Pinterest Board available if you want to look at some examples.

 Image Source: www.sustainablecitiescollective.com

Helen Taylor