Parklets: A new kind of public space in Boston

Mission Hill's parklet is located at 1538 Tremont Street. Photo by Courtney Sacco/Metro
Mission Hill’s parklet is located at 1538 Tremont St. Credit: Courtney Sacco/Metro

Boston has opened its first two parklets, which swap parking spots for outdoor seating.

Officials on Thursday unveiled Boston’s first parklets: one at 1528 Tremont St. in Mission Hill, and another at 351 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain.

Metro first reported on Boston’s plan to design and install the public urban patios last October.

“These new parklets provide great outdoor seating options for local residents and customers of our small business,” said Mayor Thomas Menino. “I hope everyone will pay a visit to this newest addition of open space to the Mission Hill business district.”

Students from Mission Hill Grammar School performed a ribbon cutting for the three-space parklet Thursday, then eagerly spread out at the space’s bistro tables and benches.

Adjacent businesses Mike’s Donuts and Lilly’s Pasta will serve as “parklet partners” to provide day-to-day maintenance of the space.

According to city officials, the public spaces are designed to bring activity to neighborhood and commercial districts by offering people a plact to sit, relax and meet for conversation.

Parklets run between $5,000 and $15,000, according to the city’s Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin. The first round of parklets will be paid for with city funds, Tinlin said, however officials hope to create partnerships with local businesses to help fund future parklet development.

The space is created by building a platform to extend an exisitng sidewalk into one or more on-street parking spaces. Benches, tables, chairs, landscaping bike parking stalls and other amenities are placed on the platform to create a “patio-type” gathering space.

Parklets will be open seasonally, with the temporary structures set up mid-spring and taken down in late fall.

Roxbury resident Rafael Gutiérrez, who passed by Thursday’s Mission Hill unveiling, said he approves of the new addition.

“I think it’s very good because it feels like downtown. You can sit and relax, like Newbury Street. It makes sense,” said Gutiérrez. “It feels welcoming.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.