Bold Street could get UK’s first parklets
San Francisco-style seating and plants for greenery and ‘dwell time’
BOLD Street is destined to become the first public thoroughfare in the UK to create San Francisco-style parklets to encourage people to hang out in the busy shopping street.
Parklets are created by taking car parking spaces and transforming them into mini-parks, with benches and plants.
The world’s first formal public parklets were initially conceived by Italian/Brazilian designer and London resident Suzi Bolognese of Sb Design Studio and installed in San Francisco in 2010.
The idea has since spread to other parts of the States as well as Mexico, and now Liverpool could be added to the parklet map of the world.
The idea of the parklet is to provide more space and amenities for people using the street.
The Bold Street move follows months of consultations with local businesses, as well as a report on the street’s activities by consultants Mott MacDonald. The assessment was that although Bold Streeth has many strengths it is weak in encouraging “dwell time” and also has a lack of greenery.
Liverpool BID hosted a series of meetings with shopkeepers to explore ways to address the weaknesses.
One idea was to turn the upper length of the street into a full pedestrian area, matching the scheme in the lower part of Bold Street.
Although this remains one option, it seems the hybrid “semi pedestrian scheme” of the parklet will be the preferred choice.
The BID company is now in talks with the city council to “scope out” the ideas and to work out the costs.
Bill Addy, Liverpool BID company chief executive, said: “Bold Street continues to grow from strength to strength and the variety of shops opening shows just how attractive a trading environment the street is.”
He said it was hoped to have ‘concrete’ (his word!) proposals in the next three to six months.
A spokesman for Liverpool BID told Liverpool Confidential: “The idea of the parklet comes from San Francisco. We have produced an artists impression to show what it may look like. It would mean there would be dwell areas along the street taking in several parking bays, but the road would remain open to traffic. Bold Street has a very good footfall, but lacks what is known as dwell time. Using parklets we could have seating areas for the cafes and restaurants. Nothing is yet decided, and it will all depend on costing.”