• 15 Best Pocket Park Design That Are Uplifting Cities

    Interchangeably called vest parks and mini parks, Pocket Park Design is becoming a necessity in urban areas across the globe. With an area of one-fourth or less, they are a great way to restore nature and functionality in dense urban areas. On the other hand, a well-planned Pocket Park Design provides a space for people to meet and socialise with one another. Furniture, pavement material, and vegetation play a major role in creating the perfect Pocket Park Design. These spaces serve multiple purposes and can adapt to the needs of the public. Here are a few Pocket Park Design projects that are setting an example for urban development.

    1. Leshan Pocket Park – Shanghai

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: James Estrin (The New York Times)

    Popularly known as the “shared happiness” of Shanghai, Leshan Pocket Park is an 80-metre backbone that links important spaces through galleries. It integrates multiple functionalities such as reading space, kids’ play, fitness equipment, etc. The design is an amalgamation of modern behaviour studies and the classic adaptation of the Shanshui method.

    2. Greenacre Park – New York City

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: CreatAR Images (ArchDaily)

    Attracting more than 200,000 visitors every year, The Greenacre Park delivers an intimate green park experience in an urban setting. The park comprises a breathtaking waterfall over a granite block, which trickles down and flows into a brook along the entrance. Visitors can sit amidst lush honey locust trees and seasonal flowers with the sounds of water.

    3. Rotary Centennial Park – Long Beach, California

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: FourSquare City Guide

    The partnership between the Rotary Club and the City on its 100th anniversary led to the Rotary Centennial Park. It is a mini-park at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Junipero Street, the state’s two prominent road systems. The park’s theme is a solar system with art installations of planets, benches, trees, a gazebo, and many more.

    4. Ranim Garden – Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: Philip Handforth (SLA)

    Danish-based landscape firm Stig L. Andersson, aka SLA, converted six barren city blocks into sustainable and biodiverse parks in Khalifa City. Ranim Garden is one of the six parks, containing more than 6,700 trees and bushes and 40 native plant species. It has become an active community park that brims with all kinds of life.

    5.Paley Park – New York

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)

    Robert Zion’s Paley Park was a prototype of a public space called Vest Pocket Park. They are parks with an area of less than 3 acres and maximise small urban spaces for an intimate experience. The grid format of the planting of the honey locust trees interrupts the white-framed furniture and a food kiosk.

    6. Udaan Park – Udaipur

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: Ankit Jain (ArchDaily)

    Udaipur’s rapid urbanisation led to the Udaan Park, which revived the banks of the historic Swaroop Sagar Lake. It attracts a large number of migratory birds and is a beacon for visitors, a breath of fresh air in the city. The planning utilises the site’s natural topography and breaks from the haphazardness of the original layout.

    7. Superkilen Park – Copenhagen 

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: Iwan Baan (ArchDaily)

    BIG Architect’s Superkilen Park in Copenhagen is an amalgamation of street furniture from over 60 nations. The park is split into three zones, identified by the colour code. The first zone hosts local markets and has pink rubber as ground cover with red maple trees matching the colours. The second zone is an urban living room, where white lines follow the contours of the ground. The third zone comprises undulating plains and hills, which serve as a picnic spot.

    8. Nanalal Mehta Garden – Mumbai, India

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: (LinkedIn)

    The busy streets of Mumbai have a 600-metre stretch of flyover garden, which is the first of its kind in the city. It has become a new place to socialise and connect with the common people of Matunga. It has a meandering walking track that takes inspiration from the Narmada River. The park became the trigger for fixing common issues like a leaking flyover as part of the beautification process.

    9. Kypseli Pocket Park – Athens

    Pocket Park Design
    Image Credits: Municipality of Athens (Punto Grecia)

    The pocket park in Kypseli is one of the three pocket park projects in Athens that are green lungs in the highly dense city. The park has an environmentally friendly concrete floor, dense evergreen and deciduous trees, and recycled wood benches. The illumination of the garden uses advanced technology, including photovoltaic systems and digital panels, with environmental parameters like temperature, humidity, etc.

    10. Portland Street Rest Garden – Hong Kong

    Image Credits: Design Trust Futures Studio (Design Anthology)

    The micro-park is a renovation of the 1980s Portland Street Rest Garden in Hong Kong. Characterised by the hot pink colour, the park is a bold statement in the densely populated neighbourhood. The furniture is movable, so the space can adapt to the different activities of the users. The plants and trees used accentuate the theme of the park, such as bougainvillaea and plume grass.

    11. Pocket Park on Xinhua Road – Shanghai

    Image Credits: Hao Chen (ArchDaily)

    The Xinhua pocket park is a poetry through landscape where the quiet garden contrasts with the busy city. A mirror-finished stainless-steel system surrounds the side walls, which turns the space into an infinite natural garden. The meandering path originates from weathering steel, which is a response to the historic context of the city. Although surrounded by tall concrete structures on all sides, the mirrors help ignore the grim setting of the site.

    12. John F. Collins Park – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Image Credits: Center City District Parks

    The bustling Centre City District’s John F. Collins Park is a quiet hideaway with a canopy of lush native trees and benches beneath. It is one of the oldest pocket parks in Philadelphia. It occupies less than 1/10th of an acre and is a narrow rectangular strip with ivy-covered walls, which is a reference to the native culture of Philadelphia.

    13. B. Y. Morrison Park – Takoma Park, Maryland

    Image Credits: City of Takoma Park

    Situated at the Takoma Junction, B. Y. Morrison Park is a combination of interactive and rooted playground structures for kids. In the name of a public art project, colourful and bold designs by artist Chris Pyrate adorn the outdoor furniture. Children are free to express themselves on interactive boards with chalk and erasers.

    14. London Street Micropark

    Image Credits: Ed Butler and Mickey Lee (Dezeen)

    WMBStudio’s modular parked bench is a refreshing space in the busy street near London bridge. The zig-zag bench, backed by bushes and flowers, was once two car parking spaces. It aims to raise awareness of the concerning air pollution in the area and the need for such green spaces in London. The benches are built entirely from used scaffolding boards.

    15. Parkman Triangle, Los Angeles

    Image Credits: Urban Operations

    The landscaping of Parkman Triangle was part of an effort to improve the streetscape of the Silver Lake region. Once a turn lane, the concept was to create an “urban lounge”, where one does not stay for too long. The design is very simple, with the focus purely on grass-roots activism and beautifying the neighbourhood with greenery.

    Metropolitan areas are growing at an alarming rate. At the same time, there are countless open lands that are unbuildable due to poor soil quality or land size. Pocket Park Design is the solution to effectively utilise such spaces. It can prevent unused land from becoming slums and waste land. Since its origin in Europe to rebuild war impact sites, Pocket Park Design can be seen under flyovers too. However, the Indian community is becoming denser day after day, and the last thing we need is another building. A well-planned Pocket Park Design can do wonders for developing a city. How can we bring about change and utilise such space in the Indian context?

    Text By: Gopika Pramod

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