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photograph of pop-up parklet in devonshire road palmers green in september 2019This "pop-up parklet" at the end of Devonshire Road in September 2019 was created by Better Streets for Enfield and was a hit with visitors and local businesses

The borough's first official "parklet" trial will take place in Palmers Green this year, following the positive response to a pop-up parklet organised by the Better Streets for Enfield campaign in 2019.

Letters from Enfield Council's Healthy Streets team arrived in residents' letterboxes earlier this week, informing them that the parklet is due to be installed at the Green Lanes end of Devonshire Road by mid-September, or possibly somewhat sooner, depending on contractor availability

The parklet will be installed at or near the same spot occupied for a few hours in September 2019 by the community "pocket park" that was created by Better Streets for Enfield. The pop-up was viewed positively not just by people who visited it, but also by some local businesses, who saw it as a way of attracting more footfall in Green Lanes. The junction has since been closed to cars and cafés on either side of Devonshire Road have obtained licences for tables on the pavements. The Healthy Streets team will be working with the licensing team at the council to ensure that footways don't become blocked to, for instance, people using mobility aids.

Before deciding to run the parklet trial in Palmers Green, the council consulted not just businesses, but also ward councillors, the Green Lanes Business Association and the Palmers Green Action Team (but not, it seems, Better Streets for Enfield, who would obviously have been in favour, but would probably have had some useful input).

Reusing public space

The project manager for the parket trial is Craig Nichol from the Healthy Streets team:

"The long term plan for this particular parklet is for it to be a talking point, introducing the concept of reusing public space. This could be anywhere in Enfield. We are looking to build on this pilot scheme to improve or streamline designs based on feedback from the trial. This will ultimately help us to bid for funding to purchase more platforms to introduce to the borough. The parklet as a short term installation could be considered a placeholder for how spaces might develop into more permanent designed features. Other more traditional places for parklets would be in parking spaces outside eateries."

The council will be monitoring the parklet over a two-month period to find out how people use it and measure changes to footfall in the area. Residents and businesses will be invited to give their views on the parklet via the Let's Talk Enfield website - the survey will go live in October.

What is a parklet?

photograph of parklet in calvert avenueA parklet in Calvert Avenue, Shoreditch

Parklets are becoming an increasingly common sight in London. In most cases, they occupy kerbside space previously used only as somewhere to park cars, transforming it into a community facility where people can rest or sit and chat in a pleasant environment. A typical parklet has seating, trees, flowers, shrubs and umbrellas.

There's much more information about the Palmers Green parklet and the council's wider plans on the Let's Talk Enfield website, including a frequently asked questions section. The council will be running an online survey to obtain feedback from residents, beginning in October.

The story of the 2019 Palmers Green pop-up parklet has been made into a film by Palmers Green Tales, featuring footage from the event and interviews with some of the main organisers.


Parklets information on Let's Talk Enfield

What a perfect day for a pop-up parklet! (Palmers Green Community 2 October 2019)

Better Streets for Enfield


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