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Mini-park springs up in city centre

Wednesday, 7th October, 2015 12:00am

A city street has become home to a 'mini-park', with other so-called 'parklets' possibly set to spring up across Galway.

The idea of a 'street parklet' originated in San Francisco and has since spread internationally, growing in numbers every year. It involves converting a parking space into a 'mini-park' to act as an additional public amenity space to improve 'liveability' and boost social and economic development in an area. Woodquay in Galway city centre, directly outside Foley's Hop House, is the first location in Galway to host a micro park, but other locations are now being considered by Galway City Council.

The local authority, along with the Woodquay Business and Residents Association, FabLab at School of Architecture University of Limerick and Galway Men's Shed, designed and fabricated the street parklet, which was unveiled on Culture Night and will remain in place until 26 October.

"The parklet is installed in Woodquay as a trial demonstration project for the purpose of testing out the concept in Galway, monitoring the impact on the environment, local residents, businesses and the wider community who use the area," said a spokesperson for Galway City Council, adding the local authority is currently exploring whether it should have a 'parklets' policy.

The installation was supported by JP Corry Building Supplier, who sponsored materials and collaborated in the design process. Plants were provided by Maddens and O'Donoghue Landscapes. The project is also supported by local businesses including Foley's Hop House, who have supported the parklet's installation and maintenance.

Galway City Council is seeking the public's feedback on the parklet and the possibility of rolling out the initiative to other areas in the city. Feedback and suggestions can be emailed to architects@galwaycity.ie. An Open Design Critique, where the public are invited to express their views on the project, will also take place at the parklet from 3pm-5pm on Friday 16 October.

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