Parklets 2.0 – Oslo’s car-free city life project
Studio Oslo Landscape Architects (SOLA), in collaboration with Vestre AS, have developed a robust modular parklet system that can be combined and adapted to suit urban needs. The project is an important contribution to Oslo’s car-free city life project, “Bilfritt Byliv,” where cars are phased out from the city center within 2020.
Oslo has invested in temporary installations as the primary intervention where parklets take a leading role. For the municipality it is important that parklets are accessible and have a robustness that can withstand the climatic and current conditions. Parklets act as a test bed in the transition between today’s Oslo and the future car-free city as well as facilitating dialogue between the community and the municipality, before the council commits to permanent changes to the streetscape.
Parklets are temporary installations that extend the pavement and replace parking spaces with city life. They contribute to a greener and more livable city with increased street planting, provide new functions and safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Parklets also create new destinations and meeting places in existing streetscapes, aiding in inspiring a new type of city life and having a proven positive economic impact on local commerce.
The construction – customizable configuration
Parklets 2.0 consists of a versatile frame (base module) with adjustable supports to ensure accessibility and optional railings protect against traffic. Different floor modules extend and activate the sidewalk and a wide range of new furnishing elements can be combined to create parklet “personalities.”
SOLA has developed a series of customizable configurations for a variety of “personalities,” fulfilling important urban functions such as outdoor dining, display, transport, planting, gathering and activity. Through standardization, Parklets 2.0 simplifies the design, planning and production process by offering ready-made solutions shifting focus for both the applicant and the council to content and ideas.
To ensure highest quality product, SOLA partnered with Vestre for the resolution, production and delivery of Parklets 2.0 as a new furnishing concept. Vestre is a leading manufacturer of design furniture for cities, parks and public spaces with 70 years’ experience. The products are built in Norway and Sweden with first-class materials and consistent high quality that provides maintenance-free use for many years. The modules consist of galvanized or powder coated steel and linseed impregnated PEFC certified pine from Scandinavia ensuring longevity and safety against fire, traffic and rat problems. Parklet permeability protects against water damage, and generous planters contribute to local surface water use and treatment.
Parklets’ modular system enables them to be moved and reused time and time again. This flexibility and reuse helps the system become a recognizable signature for Oslo’s ambitious urban transformation.