Parklet Guidelines: creating big impacts with small open spaces

April 2018 – What is a Parklet? How can we implement that in our community? The Planning Commission staff has been assisting the Tampa Downtown Partnership, the Channel District Community Alliance, and the Ybor City Development Corporation to develop guidelines for a parklet and parklet café program. Parklets and parklet cafés are an extension of the public space that typically consists of a surface platform placed on one or more on-street parking spaces to create open space in an urban environment. This type of public space is directly accessible from the sidewalk and usually accommodates benches, tables, chairs, artwork, bicycle racks, and other amenities that promote more livable and active communities.

Parklet and parklet cafés aim to beautify urban communities and attract more activity. These unique public spaces allow pedestrians to break from the flow of foot traffic to enjoy neighborhood street life. In addition to more open space, parklets and parklet cafés provide additional outdoor seating for the patrons of adjacent businesses; provide a unique environment for relaxation and social interaction; promote and increase economic activity; and encourage additional pedestrian traffic.

A draft of the guidelines is now being considered by City of Tampa staff. The Parklet Guidelines for the City of Tampa are intended to guide applicants through the process and procedures for applying for a parklet or parklet café along approved rights of way. The guidelines also provide an overview of the program, policies, and design criteria for creating parklets and parklet cafés in the right-of-way.

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