03 Dec 2020
Parklets were first introduced in 2005 by Rebar and Art Design Studio, in San Francisco. Since then, the concept has grown and evolved into a global movement marked by an annual event called “PARK(ing) Day”.
The idea of a parklet is to create a temporary intervention within a parking space, which creates a unique and exciting public green space to promote social interaction.
Southern Green has recently collaborated with Newcastle NE1 and RASKL Studio, to design and install our first parklet outside of Meat Stack, in the Bigg Market. The parklet builds on the success of the Bigg Market public realm re-design that was delivered in 2018. It consists of modular components, which were designed to be flexible to allow the ease of assembly, and adaptable so that over time it can be altered to suit its environment, or easily relocated and repurposed.
The main elements of the parklet are:
- Raised composite deck;
- Screens and parasols to provide shelter;
- Hostile vehicle mitigation;
The use of planting was fundamental to our design, utilised to soften the environment and promote urban greening. The planting creates seasonal variation, attracts wildlife and strengthens green infrastructure within the city centre urban environment.
High quality materials have been used throughout the structure to ensure it is robust and safe for public use. Visually permeable Thermowood screens buffer prevailing winds, whilst maintaining an element of visibility, and Millboard decking has been used to clad the steel sub frame offering a generous flexible seating area and perimeter perch seating.
We hope the Meat Stack Parklet is the first of many within our city centre, as high quality green spaces promote footfall, encourage the general public back into the city centre, increase the value of the public realm, improve the urban environment and reinvigorate the high street.
With the social, economic, environmental and public health challenges we are currently facing, surely the value of external space and the importance of our public realm have never been more prominent.