The term “parklet” == meaning a small park—has been cited in print since at least 1967. In 2001, Hamilton (Ontario) began “parking meter parties” at parking spaces. In 2005, the San Francisco (CA) art and design studio Rebar began “Park(ing) Days” in San Francisco’s parking spaces, creating a temporary park. In 2010, San Francisco officially began its “parklet” project.
“Parklets” quickly popped up in many other cities.
A parklet is a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street. Usually parklets are installed on parking lanes and use several parking spaces. Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space.
Parklets are intended for people. Parklets offer a place to stop, to sit, and to rest while taking in the activities of the street. In instances where a parklet is not intended to accommodate people, it may provide greenery, art, or some other visual amenity. A parklet may accommodate bicycle parking within it, or bicycle parking may be associated with it.
San Francisco has been credited with introducing the first parklet. Since then, parklets have been introduced in cities such as Ames, Iowa and Puebla de Zaragoza, Mexico.
The world’s first formal public parklets were initially conceived by Italian/Brazilian designer and London resident Suzi Bolognese (Sb Design Studio) and installed in San Francisco in 2010.
ABOUT PARK(ING) DAY
Providing temporary public open space . . . one parking spot at at time.
PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.
OCLC WorldCat record
Park, parklet & playground study.
Author: Monessen. City Planning Commission.
Publisher: Pittsburgh : Author, 1967.
Edition/Format: Print book : English
16 July 1982, Centre Daily Times (State College, PA), “Residents Split on Zoning Needs” by Jane C. Musala, pg. A-5, col. 4:
Borough council member John Dombroski questioned whether the front lot’s development was a wise use of money, suggesting the borough might be able to turn the front portion of the property into a small parklet at lesser cost.
Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh first: A $250,000 automatic public pay toilet, 25 cents per visit
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
By Michael A. Fuoco, Post-Gazette Staff Writer
And where we’re starting is on East Carson Street near 18th Street. There, in a corner of the parking lot, inside what might be called a parklet, stands a squat green and black kiosk. It is surrounded by the same brick pillars, ornamental iron fence and landscaping as that of the parking lot and the rest of the South Side.
A Blush of Maidens, a Foolishness of Old Men:
Stories, Essays and Poems
By William D. Skees
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc.
“Both had turned to this small park, more a parklet than a park, hoping to find something ... anything.”
Had a great meeting this morning with someone whose name is on a brick in the Walnut Street parklet. As you may know, I am pro parklet.
1:29 PM - 18 Dec 2007
21 June 2010, Appeal-Democrat (Maryville-Yuba City, CA), “San Francisco Solution: Tight budget and spaces inspire micrparks” by Trevor Hunnicutt (AP), pg. A3, col. 5 photo caption:
Josie Mattson, left, sits in the Divisidero Parklet in San Francisco. So-called microparks are an advantage for a city struggling with a budget deficit and limited space.
I’m at 7th & Penn Parklet (Penn Ave, 7th, Pittsburgh). http://4sq.com/d2PNWe
11:16 AM - 5 Aug 2010
I’m at 22nd Street Parklet (22nd St, at Bartlett St, San Francisco). http://4sq.com/dAeYUv
9:49 PM - 5 Aug 2010
OCLC WorldCat record
Experimenting with the margin: parklets and plazas as catalysts in community and government
Author: Robin Abad Ocubillo
Publisher: University of Southern California Los Angeles, California 2012-08-06 2012-08-06
Dissertation: Thesis / Dissertation ETD
Edition/Format: Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : eBook : English
OCLC WorldCat record
San Francisco parklet manual.
Author: San Francisco (Calif.). Planning Department,; San Francisco (Calif.). Department of Public Works,; San Francisco (Calif.). Municipal Transportation Agency,; San Francisco (Calif.). Mayor’s Office on Disability,; Pavement to Parks (Program : San Francisco, Calif.)
Publisher: San Francisco (Calif.) : Pavement to Parks Program, 
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : Local government publication : English : Version 1.0
Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change
By Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia
Washington, DC: Island Press
The first contemporary parklet, albeit in beta form, is thought to have originated in 2005 with San Francisco-based Rebar, and art and design studio. Yet few know that the Parking Meter Parties of Hamilton, Ontario took place as ear;y as 2001. Local activists there overtook metered spaces and asked fellow citizens to ‘bring your musical instruments, gas masks (for the smog), banners, signs, bikes, roller blades, wheelcharis, kitchen sinks, and help de-pave the way to a car free future.” It’s unclear whether this early work inspired Rebar to create their precursor to the parklet, Park(ing) Day.
As the story goes, in 2005 two leaders of the design firm Rebar in San Francisco went outside around lunchtime, crossed the street, and began installing a minipark in a metered parking space. They set out a bench, added some turf, and dropped in a shade tree. Voila! A single metered parking space was now a temporary park.
New York (NY) Times
BUSINESS DAY | PROTOTYPE
When the Parking Space Becomes a Park
By CLAIRE MARTIN JAN. 10, 2015
About 51 such parklets, each occupying one to three street parking spaces, have sprung up across San Francisco since 2010, and at least a dozen more are being designed or built, or are in the process of receiving city permits, says Robin Abad Ocubillo, the parklet program manager for the city’s Pavement to Parks program.
In the last couple of years, at least 72 more parklets have materialized worldwide in places like Philadelphia, New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago, Mexico City and Auckland, New Zealand. (In cities with cold weather, sponsors of parklets are typically required to remove them in winter.)
Dobbies garden centres launch ‘parklets’ in Edinburgh
22 May 2015, by Matthew Appleby,
Edinburgh is the venue for two spaces in George Street. The two parklets – the term was coined in San Francisco when the first “parklet” was established in 2010 – will see space previously used for cars used as a park.