I just moved to The Mission in San Francisco and never have I experienced such vibrancy. Just outside Four Barrels Coffee on Valencia and 15th, I noticed a beautifully designed patio, covered in a rustic awning, lined with a vine leaf canopy, packed with people. I purchased a soy latte and sat down, when I noticed a 4X4 parallel parking right next to me. Then I realised that this patio was on the road! In fact, it stood on what was 2 parking spaces. After further investigation, I discovered a sign revealing, "This is a Public Parklet.'
I learned that Pavement to Parks is the mastermind behind this project. They've transform mundane concrete parking spaces around the city into vibrant public spaces for anyone to enjoy.
"San Francisco’s new 'Pavement to Parks” projects seek to temporarily reclaim these unused swathes and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public plazas and parks. During the temporary closure, the success of these plazas will be evaluated to understand what adjustments need to be made in the short term, and ultimately, whether the temporary closure should be a long term community investment." http://sfpavementtoparks.sfplanning.org/
When people have local spaces to cultivate, they are more likely to stay in their own neighbourhoods. The more people stay in their own neighbourhoods, the less need there is for parking spaces!
Thumbs up to Pavement to Parks.