You may have started noticing a whole lot more outdoor dining since lockdown has eased. This is due to a new rollout of temporary structures called parklets.
Parklets are re-purposed parking bays, extensions on footpaths or corner positions that are being temporarily transformed into places to gather, eat, play, learn and relax with outdoor seating, greenery and bike parking facilities.
Based on a model originally developed in San Francisco in 2010, they add to the vibrancy of the streetscape which in turn helps increase foot traffic, enhancing community safety and supporting local businesses. Although parklets are maintained by hosts and are being constructed specifically for customers during business hours they are public spaces for the community to enjoy.
Current parklets can be found at:
- 400 Gradi, Brunswick East
- Alchemy Brewing, Brunswick East
- Bico Gelateria, Brunswick
- Café Stradina, Hadfield
- Ciao Mamma, Brunswick
- Dojo Espresso, Brunswick
- Feast on East, Hadfield
- Florence Street, Brunswick
- Flower Baby, Pascoe Vale
- Green Acre Pizza, Brunswick
- John Gorilla Cafe, Brunswick West
- Juanitos Cafe, Brunswick
- Los Hermanos, Brunswick
- Matsumoto, Brunswick East
- New York Minute, Brunswick East
- Sisters Grill House, Brunswick
- Small Block, Brunwick East
- Small Time Group, Brunswick
- Tempo Rubato, Brunswick
- The Grand View Hotel, Brunswick West
- The Quarry, Brunswick East
- The Que Club, Brunswick East
- The Wax Flower Bar, Brunswick
- Zaatar, Coburg
Rethinking our streets and spaces
2020 has been a challenging year for local traders due to COVID-19 restrictions. In response to the current limitations on seating numbers, restaurants, cafes and other food businesses are now using parklets to extend their outdoor dining options.
Parklets transform one or more parking spaces into a welcoming area for extended dining, seating, plants and other attractive installations and enhance the existing business. This allows more local patrons to return to their favourite neighbouring cafes, restaurants and pubs that may just be a short stroll or cycle away.
Swap the car for a stroll or cycle
One of the benefits of parklets is that they encourage people to visit local businesses within walking or cycling distance. Roads and streets need to have an appropriate balance between the movement of people and goods, and activities that support the use of the place. The repurposing of on-road space for the purpose of dining while indoor dining restrictions are in place encourages a more pedestrian friendly place. Alongside improvements to cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, this fosters more local trading and the reduction in car usage for short, single trips.
Set up your own parklet!
Anyone in the Merri-bek community can host a parklet. This site needs to be located on a Council owned road, signed less than 50km/hr. For more information on site requirements, check out the Merri-bek Parklet Program guidelines (PDF 4Mb) or email the Parklets Team via email@example.com