Parklets: the tiny new parks being created on car parking spaces by Our Streets Chorlton

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The community project in Chorlton aims to get people thinking about alternative uses for space currently set aside for vehicles.

A Manchester community has installed a temporary parklet to transform parking spaces for cars into somewhere for people.

Our Streets Chorlton currently has the reclaimed parking space out and about. It will be at two different locations in the community over the next couple of weeks.

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The group is putting on a range of green and transport-themed activities in the construction, which has been named the ‘Parklet of Possibilities’.

It also wants to get a conversation going among the public about how much space is currently given over to parking vehicles and whether some of that could be used differently.

What is the Chorlton parklet and where and when is it being used?

A parklet is a car parking space which has been reclaimed from vehicles and is instead being used by a community.

Our Streets Chorlton is teaming up with Beech Road Traders and pupils and teachers from Manchester Islamic High School For Girls on High Lane to install the parklet.

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It has been in a five-space car park on Beech Road since Thursday 25 November and will remain there until 5 December.

George Coombs from Groundwork building the parkletGeorge Coombs from Groundwork building the parklet
George Coombs from Groundwork building the parklet | Our Streets Chorlton

It will then shift to the high school from Monday 6 December until Friday 10 December.

On Tuesday 30 November, between 4pm and 5pm, Our Streets Chorlton will be holding a community forum at the space to start a conversation with local people on creating a permanent parklet.

Other free activities running during the pioneering two weeks of the project include creating DIY pedal-powered winter smoothies, eco-wreath making and family yoga.

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What has been said about the parklet?

Our Streets Chorlton says the temporary parklet is a departure point for getting local people to think about the usage of space for cars and other vehicles in the area.

The group wants to gather residents’ views about possibly expanding the concept of swapping areas for car storage for places people can meet or take part in activities.

It is also hoping people will design their own parklets and is running a competition, with Chorlton Pound shopping voucher prizes for the best designs.

Pauline Johnston, project co-ordinator for Our Streets Chorlton, said: “The aim of the parklet is to empower communities and get more people thinking about reimagining the streets they live in.

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“It’s a chance to test out the impact on the number of public and private car parking spaces we currently have in the city.

Pauline Johnson, project co-ordinator for Our Streets Chorlton, and George Coombs from GroundworkPauline Johnson, project co-ordinator for Our Streets Chorlton, and George Coombs from Groundwork
Pauline Johnson, project co-ordinator for Our Streets Chorlton, and George Coombs from Groundwork | Our Streets Chorlton

“We hope that for a short period of time, the installation of the parklet will make people stop, enjoy and engage with each other and the space, whether that be to just have a chat and a flask of coffee and bring their children together for informal play.

“We can also use it as a platform to chat about bigger issues of car usage and the environment.

“We’ll be asking Chorlton folks to design their own parklet so we can collect information on what people would like to see in spaces.”

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