July 15, 2019

What's a Pocket Park? Cities are Transforming Small Spaces

Kentucky City online feature:  

They Paved Paradise — Then Put Up Pocket Parks

Parks are a quality of life indicator for cities of all sizes. It can be increasingly challenging for residents to have access to quality park space or natural environments, leaving unmet physical and recreational needs. Is there a solution for Kentuckians?

Enter Pocket Parks

Pocket parks (or mini parks) are located on rooftops, in vacant lots or in any unused, forgotten space in a cluster of houses, commercial buildings or areas where people lack a space to relax and gather outdoors. Pocket parks are typically a quarter of an acre or less in size. They offer four essentials to residents: accessibility, activities, comfort and sociability.

Pocket parks share several requirements:
• Park visitors should walk no more than five to 10 minutes, or approximately four city blocks, from their starting point to the park
• People should be able to access the park via bike or foot — parking spaces and vehicles should not be required
• Pocket parks should serve between 500 and 1,000 residents
• Park settings should be diverse to serve a variety of users in the community

Pocket parks offer people a small-scale natural environment where residents can safely enjoy the outdoors and their communities. There is often room for children to play, a small space for events, and benches and tables for lunch breaks. The result is a relaxing, social atmosphere. Pocket parks do not replace city or neighborhood parks — they serve families, individuals and small communities that lack access to larger park settings....

Read full article. 

Read Kentucky City magazine Summer Issue