Shoppers, diners and businesses in Stockport town centre are the first in Greater Manchester to benefit from a San Francisco–inspired parklet; a mini-park installed on-street that features seating, greenery and cycle parking. To complement an underused part of the street, a pocket park has also been installed featuring planting, an art wall, a concrete table tennis table and chimes for children to play with.
Part of the Bee Network, Commissioner Chris Boardman’s masterplan to transform streets so that they work for people first, parklets and pocket parks are an inviting space that provide a place for people to stop, rest, socialise and park up a bike.
Greater Manchester Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “For the last 60 years, our towns and cities have been designed around cars, not people. This parklet and pocket park, and many others that we hope to roll out across Greater Manchester will help people to reclaim the streets, spending more time enjoying them and making journeys on foot and by bike more pleasant and attractive.
“Parklets and pocket parks are not only a relaxing space, they are also extremely practical. Twelve bikes fit into the same space as one car parking space. The added bonus is that they offer something for people of all ages.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This parklet and pocket park are a taster of what Greater Manchester’s streets and cycle spaces could look like across the city-region in the very near future. It’s exciting to get this glimpse, seeing them installed on the street today. I’d encourage as many people as possible to get down to Stockport town centre over the next few months to take a look.”
Typically installed within parking bays or simply on-road, Greater Manchester’s first ‘parklet’ is located on Bridgefield Street in Stockport. The site will be monitored for a period of three months to see the effect it has on the street.
The parklet and pocket park are the first on-street infrastructure to be installed as part of the Bee Network and feature Greater Manchester’s bespoke cycling and walking Bee motif.
Councillor Jude Wells, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said: “It’s great news that Stockport is the first place in Greater Manchester to benefit from this fantastic initiative.
“At a time when we are encouraging people to use their cars less, the parklet and pocket park will give people a reason to get out and about in the great outdoors and will make their experience more pleasant. Regardless of size, parks make a big difference to our towns and this new space will provide visitors with a unique area to socialise and play in, or just to relax.
“I look forward to the parklet and pocket park being used by local people and visitors and for more people to enjoy our town centre and all it has to offer.”
If the monitoring period is successful, dozens of parklets and pocket parks could be rolled out across Greater Manchester’s ten districts – not just in retail environments but on residential streets as well as near offices and schools.
Future parklets and pocket parks could be delivered through the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund and Transport for Greater Manchester has today launched a tool for people to comment online about exactly where they think parklets could be located across the city-region.
Chris Boardman added: “If people want a parklet or pocket park near where they live, work or commute, they can visit the Bee Network map on mappingGMand pinpoint it using our new parklets symbol. This will then help councils to identify the best places to install them so that they benefit communities and enhance a variety of environments.”
Parklets are designed to be as flexible as possible and can be customised depending on the location to include seating, greenery, open-air bike parking, covered bike parking, a hire station and even basic maintenance tools.