We are working on a landscape and public realm strategy for the Harringey Warehouse District (HWD) which is currently in the process of being covered by Local Planning policy that protects warehouse living. As part of the project, we aim to enhance the communal and public spaces in the area through a number of interventions and strategies. One of the first interventions we have proposed is to establish ‘Parklets’ along one of the main roads at the site, Overbury Road.
What are Parklets?
Parklets transform street parking spaces into mini-parks and can include seating, planting, vegetable plots, and cycle and bin storage. They are a low cost and effective way to promote communal and healthy streets - they improve the public realm, increase biodiversity, promote cycling and allow for better recycling and waste management.
Parklet’s provide a number of benefits:
Parklets are a quick, low cost and effective initiative to promote a communal and healthy street. Parklets promote a more active travel medium; allowing people to walk further distances than normally comfortable as they can rest and take refuge on a seat.
Parklets promote a car-free culture through encouraging people to walk further distances. Furthermore, by changing existing parking bays into parklets with greenery and foliage, some of the pollution caused by the traffic can be absorbed.
Parklets support local businesses by providing a meeting place and a vibrant atmosphere to attract customers.
Parklets can increase the safety and security of an area by creating passive surveillance.
Parklets improve the wellbeing and mental health of a community through providing space to demonstrate local creativity, art and design.
Thinking behind the Parklet
Residents on Overbury Road have limited access to outdoor space and there are a large number of general waste and recycling bins along the pavement, which often overflow and cause obstruction. We are proposing building communal parklets to house waste-bin stores, residents’ bicycle stores, visitors’ bicycle parking and provide seating and planting for residents.
The aims of the parklets are as follows:
-To provide a suitable and attractive storage solution for the waste bins, both general and food waste.
-To provide adequate seating, allowing different groups of varying number to congregate. -To remove the residents having to sit on the street kerb or on the footpath to talk.
-To provide more greenery down the street and promote local biodiversity
Our prototype parklet design includes a series of planters to provide sensory planting and increase local biodiversity, green wall elements to enable ownership and community growing, as well as a colourful mural by local Artists Studio Dodo.
Based on feedback from local residents and business owners on the prototype we have modified the parklet design and created the following designs:
Modified Prototype – with integrated seating but with changes to the design to reduce the height and be more permeable.
Blank Canvas Prototype – which will allow tenants to control when they bring seating out
Bin House Prototype – only accommodating space for growing plants, no space for congregation.
We encourage all local residents to check out the dedicated HWDcomment website for updates and share their views on the parklets and the broader plans for the Warehouse District.