The Curb'd project is an innovative design-based competition that pushes boundaries and breaks all the rules (except for building codes)
That important condition is what makes this competition possible by ensuring the safety of parklet-goers and motorists alike with specific design characteristics.
While each city that embraces parklets will be responsible for developing their own terms for safe construction there are some common standards guiding our process.
For instance, the Philadelphia Parklet Program Guideline states that parklets should include vertical elements, like an umbrella or a 40-ft toothbrush, in order to be immediately visible to drivers while not preventing their line-of-sight. Our parklet designs will push beyond conventional boundaries, but still adhere to many these same standards.
Maintaining proper curb drainage is another important aspect of safe parklet construction.
All Curb'd design proposals have been reviewed by build-experts in order to ensure that proper drainage has been taken into account.
Topside, the Curb'd parklets will be all fun and games, but beneath we mean business when it
comes to the safety for those on the sidewalk
and cars on the road!
Incorporating design elements that prevent pedestrian access to the street is critical.
Your typical parklet will feature at the very least a railing capable of withstanding moderate horizontal force. More innovative designs might include an abstract sculpture or an interactive wall that serves the same purpose. The important part is to discourage the free-flow of pedestrian traffic into the busy street, while also providing a much needed barrier should the unexpected happen.
Including simple reflective posts and wheel stops to prevent interference with neighboring parking spaces also helps ensure safety and enjoyment of the parklet.
That said, it's important for designers not to exceed the area of their allotted space.
While some motorists might question the transformation of an open parking space into a bustling, social hub the benefits are actually quite surprising. The truth is that parklets have the potential to positively impact the community members and local businesses more so than an empty parking space. By limiting our shared public spaces only to the handful of vehicles that park there throughout the day we are missing out on the limitless possibilities that could be had within a parklet.