Design Cycle: TED-Style Talks for Rethinking Public Space

Certainly you have heard of Rebar, the group that transformed a parking space into a temporary public park back in 2005, launching the “Parking Day” and parklet movements that have taken over San Francisco's streets.  Well, since their initial success with parklets, they've kept turning out new ideas for DIY Urbanism and what they call “Urban Prototyping.”  And this Sunday at the inaugural Design Cycle event—a series of TED-style talks on “urban innovation” and street parties at the Brava Theater on 24th Street—Rebar is debuting their latest idea:

Rebar has partnered with the SFBC to develop what they are calling a Streetscape Kit of Parts (“SSKOP”). It's like the parklet of bike lanes. Experimental, cost effective, fast and temporary. We'll be giving the first look at this concept at Design Cycle—the speaker won't even release any renderings in advance of the talk.

We can't even imagine what a “parklet of bike lanes” will look like, or even how they envision this being used, but we imagine this will be good.

Tickets for the 7pm talk are sitting at $18, but if that's too much for you, Rebar will be showing off their Bubbleware project before the talk on new pop-up parklet, Street Stage, outside the theater before the talk (and we're told they'll be some live bands and a bike-powered taco grill out there too).

[Design Cycle]

SF Cityscape and Small Theater to Grace Fabric8's New Parklet

We know your Kickstartered out and would rather spend your money on the Police Academy DVD Box Set or whatever, but it goes without saying that Fabric8's current parklet is the best in city, so we have to imagine what they have planned will be even better.

Fabric8 fills us in on what they're raising money for:

The second exhibition is currently being designed and built in-house with painter Ursula Xanthe Young, who is best known for her dreamy cityscapes of San Francisco. An outdoor lounge, Young’s parklet will offer theater seating and a small public stage set against a beautiful rendering of the city’s landscape and architecture. With it, fabric8 plans to establish a short theater program, hosting 10-minute productions for the public on a regular basis.

Stuffing a performance space into a parklet is impressive enough, but what that have in store for the physical backdrop is even better: a streetscape layer cake with plants and lighting filling the gaps.

You can read up more on it now, or go check out the progress at the Parklet's kick-off party at 2pm on the 17th.


Giants in the Parklet

When I first saw these two guys chillin' in Fabric8's parklet watching game 6, my gut reaction was “of course someone's watching the Giants in a parklet” and started uncontrollably foaming at the mouth with shitty hipster jokes.  But, really, these guys have it all figured out.  Comfy bean bags, a heat lamp keeping them warm, reclaimed wood everywhere, easy bike parking… it's really the idyllic venue for baseball.  Plus, given how this torrential rainmageddon situation is playing out, the parklet should give you primo access to tonight street-side celebrations.

Finally, a Dolores Parklet

Answering the age-old question of where to eat Bi-Rite's ice cream, the creamery has applied to install a parklet in front of the business—just across from Dolores Park.

There’s seating on the sidewalk, and this would give us more space for people to gather,” Bi-Rite Creamery co-owner Anne Walker told Mission Local.

No word if they intend on opening an ice cream stand within the parklet.

[Mission Local | Photo by HawBone]

Blue Fig Gets a Parklet

There it is, the makings of a new parklet for Blue Fig and After Life vintage.  And, in conjunction with Freewheel's and the 'Deepistan National Parklet, this will make this stretch of Valencia the only block in the city with three parklets lining it.

It's worth pointing out that this is shaping up to be a parklet dominated by commercial restaurant seating (think Cafe Revolution's and Crepe House's), rather than one of the more architecturally stunning works found at Fabric 8 or Farm:Table.  But a parklet is a parklet, amirite?

There's a New Parklet for All Your Pizza-Eating, Music-Listening, Bum-Gawking Pleasure

It's hard to tell exactly how the refreshed Cafe Rev/Escape From NY Pizza parklet on 22nd will turn out, but it looks like they're swapping out the wood paneling for metal, putting lots of bar-style seating facing the road, giving us less bike racks, and potting various plant life at the ends for the resident crazypeople to use as a litter box.

27 Additional Parklets Coming Soon

The Examiner reports that SF soon will have 27 new parkets, including six on and around Valencia St (Four Barrel, Ritual, The Crepe House, a private residence at Valencia and 20th, Fabric8, and Café Seventy 8), two in Hayes Valley (Mercury Cafe, Arlequin), two in the TL (Farm:Table, Bamboo Bike Studio) and a bunch more scattered around the city.

No doubt this is good news for everyone who enjoys eating food and chilling outside, and shitty news for the NIMBYs that were crying about the loss of parking and the potential for 'increased street noise' and homeless encampments near their homes.

[SF Examiner]

Valencia Gets Its First Parklet

As mentioned back in October, Freewheel Bikes petitioned the city to have a bike-themed parklet installed outside the shop on Valencia and 20th.  And they apparently succeeded! I guess they didn't get the clear to make it bike-themed with a repair area built into the parklet, but it's got hella flora and astroturf, which is a nice upgrade from the one on 22nd.  Unlike the one on 22nd, there isn't a bunch of complimentary businesses around this parklet for people to spill out of, so it'll be cool to see if this actually gets as much usage.