Parklets, The New Way To Experience Adelaide

We’ve seen them pop up in parking spaces in cities worldwide, but now small urban parks, known as parklets, are set to add life to Adelaide’s streets and could be in place by summer.

Potential parklet builders are encouraged to find out more on two Friday mornings in June, when a tea room parklet (8 June) and a reading-room parklet (15 June) will be set up in the plaza in front of Council’s Customer Centre at 25 Pirie Street between 9am and 1pm. Staff will be on hand to answer questions.

The concept originated in San Francisco. Businesses and groups apply to take over nearby street car parking spaces to provide places for people to relax and enjoy the city atmosphere. They can range from outdoor dining spots and bike racks to mini reading rooms and pop-up gardens.

The parklet idea started as a pilot program through Splash Adelaide. Adelaide City Council has extended its parklet program and is now welcoming proposals from city businesses and groups until the end of June.

“This isn’t just an opportunity for businesses to increase outdoor dining space, although we’d welcome creative ideas from eateries that spark new city experiences,” Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said.

“For this first pilot we’re looking for ideas that will support both business and community life, so a parklet could be anything from a spot to park bikes to a mini garden – as long as it creates a public place to relax and enjoy being in the city.”

A prototype parklet has been set up outside the Historian Hotel in Coromandel Place as part of the Splash Adelaide project, and has brought a mini outdoor oasis to a city lane, complete with café tables, chairs and greenery.

Nathan Paine, Executive Director of the SA Division of the Property Council of Australia expressed his support of the program.

“The Adelaide City Council’s Splash Adelaide program and particularly the wonderful parklets, have been a breath of fresh air in Adelaide by providing places and spaces for people to come together, enjoy Adelaide and create a sense of energy in everyday environments,” he said.

For this first stage, there are three guidelines for applicants:

  1. Parklets have a creative design: proposals that team businesses or groups together with artists or design professionals are encouraged.
  2. Parklets provide an improvement in public space: parklets should be attractive and accessible to people at all times, improving the street experience by (for example) providing seating and plantings, or bike parking.
  3. Parklets are in the right location: parklets should be in appropriate and safe locations, not on major intersections or in busy streets.

Applicants will fund the design and installation of their parklet and agree to maintain it. The pilot program is currently open to proposals until 29 June. To find out more about the parklet program and how to send in a proposal, head to

More examples of Parklets are below:


The Peacekeeper
Location: Front of Fabric8 Gallery, 22nd Street, San Francisco
Designer: Erik Otto
Image source:


Four Barrel Parklet
Location: Valencia Street at 15th Street, San Francisco
Designer: Boor Bridges Architecture
Image source: John Downing, 2011, ‘Coffee and Bikes: New Parklet at Four Barrel’, <>


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