Considering roads as public spaces presents an opportunity for decreasing the open space deficit in cities. For this reason, cities are turning to parklets—places that emerge from the low-cost conversion of small and underutilized residual spaces originally devoted to cars into places for the passive or active recreation of people. Because parklets are a relatively recent phenomenon, there is very limited guidance for those wanting to begin a program or build a parklet. In response, UCLA authored Reclaiming the Right-of-Way. The report was developed as a toolkit with the purpose of providing city staff and community members with practical guidance to support the development of parklets. Parklet programs and projects are spreading quickly across the nation with little shared knowledge about their origins, challenges and lessons learned. This toolkit originated to facilitate parklet projects in Los Angeles and encourage a parklet program that creates an institutionalized pathway for their installation. The document’s five chapters cover precedents in Los Angeles, municipal case studies, design guidance, and creative photo simulations. This research, despite this Los Angeles focus, is being used by cities across the United States as a resource for cities to begin crafting their own parklet programs to the best practice standards identified in this report. The second phase of this project funded the construction of the two parklets on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. After installation of the parklets on Spring Street, UCLA, in collaboration with Parklet Studies, conducted a post-occupancy evaluation.
Working on this project: Madeline Brozen, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris Project Start Date: January 2012 Project End Date: July 2013