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São Paulo Replaces Parking Spots with Mini ‘Parklets’ for a More Pedestrian-Friendly Urban Environment
Parklets are mini-parks that take up a few metered parking spaces. They are part of a growing movement to make streets more human-centered, green and accessible. The world’s first formal public parklets were initially conceived by Italian designer and London resident Suzi Bolognese (Sb Design Studio) and installed in San Francisco in 2010. As of January 2014, 62 parklets have been installed throughout San Francisco, and the program is being emulated in cities around the world. The latest city to introduce the project is Sao Paulo, Brazil. The parklets program fits in perfectly with São Paulo’s attempts to promote a friendlier pedestrian environment, and involves replacing a parking space or two with a new public area. Parklets can incorporate benches, chairs, tables, trees, and bike racks for the public to use and enjoy. A temporary parklets experiment took place in parts of São Paulo during Environment Week, with the initiative gaining media coverage as well as being widely applauded by citizens. São Paulo has loved parklets so much, it has integrated them into city planning policy. Now as a result of Decree No. 55,405, São Paulo has rules for the creation and maintenance of parklets, the first Latin American public policy on the issue. The Green Mobility Institute of Brazil has been implementing parklets across the country, providing tiny little spaces of respite for Brazil’s urban dwellers.
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