Reclaim the Streets for Summer

We’ve talked about parklets previously, and you’ve probably seen them in one form or another, as they are popping up more and more. (Learn about parklets in this post, and check out Montreal examples here.) Technically, parklets are for the public – literally, mini resting areas/green spaces that borrow the street for people instead of cars and are free to the public. However,  restaurants create their own versions of parklets in the form of outdoor seating in parking spaces – usually on wood decks at curb height. On my last visit to Montreal I noticed another one, seen below.

See the parklet across the street?

And diagonally across from the restaurant seating, I found an actual parklet. This one was quite simple: benches and planters. This set up gives people a spot to sit and gaze at the architecture, allows for more pedestrian use of the sidewalk, cafe space, and creates a more park like setting on this historic street. What do you think?

A parklet in Old Montreal.

Parklets and outdoor seating areas are reclaiming* the streets for pedestrians, which make summer even more fun (especially for those of us with long, cold winters). Choosing to cater to people rather than automobiles is an important aspect of placemaking, and it can make a big difference a city’s vitality. Seen any lately? If you have, I’d love to see them. Use #presinpink on social media (Twitter, Instagram) to share!

*Reclaiming not to be confused with road construction reclamation. Just a transportation joke for you. haha. 😉

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9 thoughts on “Reclaim the Streets for Summer

  1. Daniel says:

    1) Montréal is so lovely. 2) It’s refreshing to hear a preservation person talking about human focused urban design and placemaking (not that I’m surprised by it, but I know some planning folks who seem to always cast people with a preservation ethos as the enemies of good planning and development, and this is a perfect example of how much overlap there is between the two fields). Anyway, nicely done!

    • Kaitlin says:

      Thank you, Daniel! I think the trend of new preservationists is akin to placemaking. I’m happy to be a part of it! But, yes, we do still have those stereotypes associated with preservation.

  2. Susie says:

    I love it! People make spaces what they are and outdoor gathering spaces are always enjoyable (as long as the design is tasteful). I hope this trend continues!

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