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dfw’s first permanent parklet


What is a parklet? In the words of BikeDFW, a parklet is a place created in the public right of way, typically in a parallel parking space, whereby a raised platform extends the sidewalk to provide amenities such as seating, bike parking, and space for congregating. They have many social, environmental, and economic benefits in that they incorporate native landscaping and encourage bicycle transportation by including walkable distances to commercial districts.

TBG’s director of sustainability, Mikel Wilkins, worked with Congress for the New Urbanism of North Texas to create and design the first permanent parklet of the DFW area. It was installed in December of 2020 and is located at Veracruz Cafe in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas. In addition to being a functional shared space, the parklet has to do with constructing a modular, open-source design available for all of DFW. Jim Lake Co. and Veracruz Cafe owners collaborated to make the parklet in front of the cafe, one of Bishop Arts District’s oldest restaurants.

The parklet was made possible by a Green Blue Grey Grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The Blue-Green-Grey funding program focuses on “breaking the silos between water infrastructure, the environment, and transportation infrastructure to help create and fund innovative spaces that combine these components.”

With more pedestrians, cyclists, and eyes on the road, safety is increased and motor emissions are decreased, further establishing a safer and livelier neighborhood. The parklet has native landscaping planters to capture rainwater and add greenery, and the space encourages people to be outside as a whole. Ultimately, this parklet bridges the community and commercial area of the Bishop Arts District, and promotes a more environmental lifestyle.