A pocket park (also known as a parkette, mini-park, vest-pocket park or vesty park) is a small park accessible to the general public. Pocket parks are frequently created on a single vacant building lot or on small, irregular pieces of land. They also may be created as a component of the public space requirement of large building projects.
Pocket parks can be urban, suburban or rural, and can be on public or private land. Although they are too small for physical activities, pocket parks provide greenery, a place to sit outdoors, and sometimes a children's playground. They may be created around a monument, historic marker or art project.
In highly urbanized areas, particularly downtowns where land is very expensive, pocket parks are the only option for creating new public spaces without large-scale redevelopment. In inner-city areas, pocket parks are often part of urban regeneration plans and provide areas where wildlife such as birds can establish a foothold. Unlike larger parks, pocket parks are sometimes designed to be fenced and locked when not in use.
Small parks can increase the value of nearby homes. One study conducted in Greenville, South Carolina, found that "attractively maintained small and medium parks have a positive influence on neighboring property values."
Around the world
In Greater Sudbury, a pocket park was created in 2012 to complement a new trail section of the Trans Canada Trail and the Junction Creek Waterway Park, a project of Rainbow Routes Association and its partners, the City of Greater Sudbury, Trans Canada Trail, Employment Ontario and the Northridge Savings and Credit Union.
In Mexico City, there is a city program to create up to 150 pocket parks of 400m2 or less on vacant lots or even on land that previously was part of a large intersection, such as the Condesa pocket park.
In England, a 1984 project to involve the local community in the creation and running of small, local parks has fostered several pocket parks in Northamptonshire, and was later developed by the Countryside Commission into the Millennium Green and Doorstep Green projects.
In Columbus, Ohio, Polaris Founder's Park was opened in 2011 and holds a 35-foot wind sculpture. In Los Angeles, where there are restrictions on how close registered sex offenders can live to parks, local officials planned three pocket parks to drive "undesirables" from a given area.
- "Economic Benefits of Trails". American Trails. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- MacGowen, Tempe (1 May 2012). "Balfour Street Pocket Park". ArchitectureAu. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
- "Parques Públicos de Bolsillo", Secretariat of Urban Development and Housing, Mexican Federal District, accessed 2014-10-07
- Pocket Park project Page 6&7
- Northamptonshire's Pocket Park Website
- Jennings, Angel (February 28, 2013). "L.A. sees parks as a weapon against sex offenders". Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
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