Chicago Opens two new Parklets

Chicago has opened its first two “parklets” – tiny public spaces carved from on-street parking.  The idea, pioneered in San Francisco and New York, is to bring greater public space onto busy streets and to suggest that the automobile should not always be the dominate force on our public streets.  Planners see parklets as a way to enhance street life and urbanity, and thereby encourage more people to live in denser environments.  Denser environments tend to be more sustainable, in general.

The first parket is in the Andersonville neighborhood, in the 5200 block of North Clark.  The second is in Lakeview in the 2900 block of North Lincoln.

Both look a bit like outdoor seeting for a cafe, but the parkets can be used by anyone and offer a new way to experience the street.  Let’s hope more follow!

Blair Kamin gives a review here, and the Chicago Reader reviews the Andersonville one here.

The course SUST 320, Planning, Transportation, and Sprawl, will discuss more of these “placemaking” ideas this Fall.  It will be offered on five Saturdays in Schaumburg, with an Online component (a “hybrid”course).  Contact Brad Hunt at to learn more.


(Courtesy of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce)

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