What is a Parklet?
A parklet is a small, urban park that is created by converting one or more parking spaces into a public open space for the enjoyment of the community.
The site for the first parklet in our neighborhood will be where the Ave meets NE 43rd Street, in the heart of our community. The parklet will be 8 feet wide and 30 feet long and provide bar seating, benches, planters, and space for tables and chairs. You can view plans and updates online.
Our parklet is unique in that it is placed in a street that will be half closed to traffic for the next seven years during the construction of our light rail station. As a result, our parklet is wider than most and benefits from a pedestrian-zone perimeter for better safety. Arriving at the same time as our parklet will be a new bike share station immediately adjacent for a synergy of bike and pedestrian activity.
The Seattle Department of Transportation selected our neighborhood to participate in their pilot parklet program this year and we recently were awarded partial funding for the parklet from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. We need to match this $8,000 grant with volunteer hours and community funding to the estimated amount of an additional $6,000.
The surrounding merchants are working together to make this a lively place in the sun to enjoy a coffee, ice cream, or lunch. Please show your support by visiting these businesses: The Ugly Mug, Cedars, Flowers, Häagen-Dazs, Samir's Mediterranean Grill and Kai's Bistro.
Why Here & Why Now?
With a projected open space deficit of over five acres, the University District desperately needs public open space. The parklet is an experiment to see how our neighborhood takes advantage of and supports open space, and will inform the dialog surrounding how best to develop the U District for much greater density. The City is exploring an up zone to heights up to 340 feet in our urban core to reflect the catalyst of light rail.
The participating, adjacent merchants are already feeling the impacts of the seven-year construction activity at the future light rail station. It is our hope that the parklet, and adjacent bike share station, will bring more customers to their restaurants to offset their loss in business and help them survive.
In addition to the generous support of the City of Seattle, we have wide support of the adjacent merchants, nearby residents, commuters, students, visitors, and urbanists. We received the endorsement of the U District Partnership (combining the Chamber of Commerce, University of Washington, and Business Improvement District). Our permit for construction is under review by the Seattle Department of Planning & Development. Now we ask for your support for the final stretch to making this a reality.
Give What You Can!
Please consider contributing whatever you can afford so we can reach our target by the fast-approaching deadline. Check out the several rewards we have to encourage your participation and share our campaign with your friends. Most importantly, come visit the parklet often once built and demonstrate how much public open space can make a difference to our neighborhood.
We have been very active over the past year in advocating, designing, organizing, and fundraising for the success of our parklet project with booths at the U District Streetfair, Neighborhood Night Out, U District Farmers Markets, and on Park(ing) Day. Our project team consists of the following volunteers:
Jordan, UW Graduate Student of Architecture & Landscape Architecture
Stella, UW Graduate Student of Architecture
Zack, UW CEP Student
David, The Ugly Mug
Samir, Samir’s Mediterranean Grill
Duncan & Tony, Kai’s Bistro
Doug, John, Steve & Cory, U District Advocates
Risks and challenges
We are ready to build our parklet and just need the remaining balance of our budget to commence. The biggest challenge our team has faced was finding a contractor to assist with the construction. Through perseverance and commitment to the project we have found a solution that encompasses volunteer hours and a tight budget.
We plan to issue a call for help on construction day to assist with assembling the various parts of the parklet. This project will truly be built by, for, and with our community. Come join us!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)