Reclaiming city's parking spaces through parklets

Reclaiming city's parking spaces through parklets
A nonprofit is striving to reclaim the city’s parking spaces and use them for other, more creative purposes. Local residents, traffic police and volunteers of the nonprofit, ESAF, reclaimed a small car parking space on 19th Main Road, HSR Layout, under the ‘parklet’ concept which is part of the ‘Livable City Program’ launched by the organisation. The concept was first successfully implemented in San Francisco, US. The nonprofit works in the fields of sanitation, education, public amenities among others.

A parklet is a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street. Usually parklets are installed on parking lanes. The parking space in HSR Layout was used for creative and recreational purposes for about four hours. The space was cleaned up and mats were laid there. A few benches were also arranged. “Children, traffic policemen and volunteers played games, read books, did some painting or just talked among themselves,” said Manju George, programme manager at ESAF.

A large number of cycling enthusiasts from HSR Layout also took part in the event. Shashidhara K, a member of the HSR Cycling Community, said such events helped in community building and social engagement. George said the ESAF had been working on the concept for the last three months and would launch the second edition at 27th Main in HSR Layout. “The parklets are usually temporary. The place is not just a parking space but also holds social value,” she said. ESAF plans to hold similar events in Malleswaram, Sanjaynagar and Yelahanka.

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