Livable Berkeley is excited the City is considering a Pilot Parklet program in Berkeley, and we strongly support this effort! (Read an update on the May 16, 2013, Berkeley Transportion Commission meeting.)
Last October Livable Berkeley was the lead organizer for Sunday Streets Berkeley, a widely successful event that brought over 40,000 people to Downtown Berkeley.

For this event Livable Berkeley sponsored a “Pop-Up Parklet,” which was used and enjoyed throughout the day as a practical demonstration of how parklets can be successful in the City of Berkeley. Our “Pop-Up Parklet” meets all of the requirements for a sidewalk grade, wheelchair accessible parklet and can be set up again. The parklet, in use, can be viewed in the StreetsFilm video about Sunday Streets Berkeley, and in the photo below.

Pop-Up Parklet at Philz Coffee, Shattuck and Cedar Streets, Sunday Streets Berkeley, Oct. 14, 2012 (Photo: Alan Tobey)
Livable Berkeley believes a Pilot Parklet program will be successful in Berkeley. We are fortunate to have a developed parklets program from San Francisco to build on, which is designed to minimize red tape and speed approvals.
Still wondering what a parklet is exactly? How does it work? Who pays for it? Read the Berkeleyside article on North Berkeley merchants’ interest in parklets, and the excerpts below from Parklets: Experiments in Public Open Space, a Public Interest Design Publication.

What is it?
A parklet is an urban intervention to create more public space. Parklets function as public space, much like a traditional park, but rely on the stewardship of a sponsoring business. Parklets are built in the public right-of-way, typically repurposing two adjacent parking spaces, shifting their use from the storage of cars to pedestrian-centered public space.

How does it work?
A sponsoring business responds to a city-issued Parklet Request for Proposal (RFP) with a schematic design. Once approved the parklet receives a 1-year renewable permit. Parklets are generally seen by city officials as semi-temporary urban experiments.
Are they really public?
Yes, as part of the design and permit process, parklets are created to function as public space. Businesses that sponsor parklets are not allowed to use them as extensions of their business nor evict anyone from their parklet, unless they are doing something illegal. Parklets fall into the category of privately owned public open spaces.



Letter to the Transportation Commission (May 16, 2013)

Email your elected officials and let them know you support Sunday Streets Berkeley!

Mayor Tom Bates:
Council Members



Livable Berkeley is a local non-profit organization that advocates for equitable and sustainable development in the City of Berkeley. We champion projects and measures that protect the environment, promote equity, and enhance transportation, housing, and job choices. Community investment is key in our sustainable future, and parklets demonstrate the City leadership’s commitment to create a vibrant street life, support local businesses, and promote stewardship of our community.