Cool Idea Category:  In recent years, a number of communities have begun experimenting with “parklets” – temporarily turning the asphalt of parking spaces into small, on-the-street spots of greenery and seating – to enliven the streetscape experience and provide more outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes. The New Partners conference will showcase five parklet model experiences inside the Kansas City Convention Center, to demonstrate for participants what a parklet is, and how it can transform a couple of under-utilized parking spaces into exciting opportunities for creating more vibrant (parking) spaces in your community.  What is a Parklet?  A parklet is a small urban park, often created by replacing several under-utilized parallel parking spots with a patio, planters, trees, benches, café tables with chairs, fountain(s), artwork, sculptures and/or bicycle parking.  Parklets are designed to provide a public place for citizens to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the city around them, in places where either current urban parks are lacking or if the existing sidewalk width is not large enough to accommodate vibrant street life activities. Parklets can be designed to be either permanent fixtures, or can be designed to be temporary/seasonal in places where snow removal is a concern.

 Thanks to Anne Hullinger for sharing.