Parklets, Eh?

By Michelle W. Jones, CMP

My first encounter with a parklet was in Raleigh, N.C. I still carry a business card in my notebook that explains, “A parklet is a way to extend the sidewalk, creating a public space for people to sit and relax in an urban area. Parklets are installed on street parking lanes and are designed to be movable.”

Last weekend, in Montreal, Quebec, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a parklet in Les Quartiers du Canal (the neighborhoods of the canal), a quaint area where locals shop and dine. On the sign posted on the bench, it says in French, “This street furniture is a public space. No commercial activity is permitted within this development. An initiative of the society of commercial development. The neighborhoods of the canal.”

While on a tour of the city, our guide proudly pointed out where many restaurants have additional seating outside in parklet-style setups, rather than blocking the sidewalk. I said, “They are blocking the parking spaces.” She said, “We don’t care!” I couldn’t resist exclaiming, “But PARKING MATTERS!”

Michelle W. Jones, CMP, is IPI’s director of convention and meeting services.

One thought on “Parklets, Eh?

  1. Next time you come to Montreal, give us a call and we can give you a tour of our operations!

    Philippe Giroux
    Director of technologies

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