Parklets are a rather recent invetion, originated in North America. They were born out of a very simple but serious question: could a parking spot serve as anything else? One parking spot reserves 12.5 sqm of public domain, that thus gets severed from both pedestrian and traffic use whether or not a car fills it. Hence a more rafined question: could a parking spot be occupied by anything else besides a car? Could it be rented for other functions? Could it be furnished with chairs, tables, benches, potted plants, market stalls, election tents, trash bins or security cabins, elements we got so used to occupying the sidewalks?
As per law, sidewalks may accommodate various obstructing objects, however, roads may only host registered vehicles. Therefore, we bought, registered, and furnished three towing trailers, transforming them in legally parked parklets. The space they occupy and we pay for is thus reclaimed public space, and it is used for socialising, play, open air working, or temporary exhibition space. Our experiment makes a rather ironic statement: in order to reclaim it, we need to park our public pedestrian space.
The project is part of the Străzi deschise (Open Streets) event, initiated by and co-hosted with ARCEN, supported by CEC Bank. Photo credits: Octav Ganea, Matei Niculescu.
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