A ground-breaking new parklet scheme trialled in Stockport and aimed at transforming underused space into urban mini-parks has been hailed as an overwhelming success.
A recent survey showed 98% of people felt that the it improved the street. While 95% thought more should be installed across Greater Manchester.
The parklet transformed an underused part of the street into an attractive and useful place for shoppers, workers and people on bikes to stop, relax and park up. It has seating, planting, a bespoke mural, a table tennis table and chimes – as well as cycle parking for 12 bikes.
Since it opened, Transport for Greater Manchester has closely monitored it and has undertaken a range of surveys and interviews with users to understand the effect it has had on visitors to the area, local businesses and the area itself.
When asked to describe the new space, the most common descriptions were “modern”, “clean”, “pleasant” and “safe”, and 98% felt it was an improvement to the street.
The survey also showed that 84% of people who used it reported a feeling of personal wellbeing. Whilst spending time outdoors on the street and around half of people said it made the street feel safer.
Average time spent on Bridgefield Street increased from seven to 12 minutes after the parklet was introduced. People who used the space were reported to be spending an average of 15 minutes on the street compared with eight minutes for people who had not used the parklet. The average time people spent in it itself was around 20 minutes.
In addition, 94% of respondents said they would be happy to see some on-street car parking spaces used to install a parklet like this instead.
The survey also interviewed local business owners, who overwhelmingly offered support for the parklet, suggesting it was an improvement to the area and should be made permanent.
Anyone wanting to suggest a potential location for a parklet can visit the Bee Network map on mappingGM and easily pinpoint it using the new parklets symbol.