California Walks is the statewide voice to ensure walkable neighborhoods that promote safe and healthy communities. The organization partners with state agencies, organizations and communities to establish and strengthen policies and practices that support pedestrian friendly communities.
This year they hosted a PedsCount Summit in the Long Beach, where Senior Principal Michael Bohn, spoke about quick & easy placemaking tactics for small and mid-sized communities. The discussion focused on how smaller towns and cities in California plan, permit, and implement parklets, public street events, and temporary demonstration projects in order to activate the city streets.
As a part of the discussion, Michael Bohn showcased how Studio One Eleven’s Long Beach Parklet Program promotes pedestrian friendly environments. Partnering with local establishments, the parklet pilot program is credited with the completion of the very first three parklets in Southern California.
A parklet is essentially a sidewalk extension, transforming curbside parking stalls into outdoor dining decks or additional public open space. They are particularly useful when existing sidewalks are too narrow to support outdoor dining, allowing existing businesses to expand in a more economical way than buying land or acquiring adjacent structures. Parklets help reinvigorate communities, by reclaiming street space for people space, and creating vibrant, active streets.
It was great to bring our parklet experience to the conversation and to show how parklets can be so impactful within the context of a smaller city.
You can view the full presentation here.