We just featured The Hague, where the city government offers citizens to swap car parking for a temporary green park right in front of the house. Other European cities are now jumping on the bandwagon, too. In Vienna citizens can make use of an online tool: CityMaking. It provides a step-by-step guide to build your own parklet — from finding a spot, planning the construction, until handing in the design for approval.
As with every project in public space, there’s always concern that the installations might not be well maintained over time. The city makes initiators legally responsible for their own parklet. By holding the property owner responsible for the parklet, the local government hopes to keep initiators’ motivation high to take good care of their green spaces. We are convinced that these micro parks are exactly what European cities needed during the heatwaves earlier this summer.
Reclaiming public space and giving it back to the people is not only a concern in Europen cities. In Beirut, designer Nathalie Harb created a layer of green public space on top of car parking. Have a look!