Parks and recreation: a Shoreditch surprise

Hackney parklet, 67-69 Pitfield Street, Hackney N1 6BT, opens on Friday 3 July 2015 ©

HACKNEY probably has more parkland than any other London borough and today the council opens another, which it claims is England’s first parklet.

Above is an impression of the small urban space that will provide seating, cycle parking and a splash of floral colour by a car-free, one-way cyclepath on the route of the London Mayor’s planned Cycle Superhighway 1.

Money for the project, debuted in San Francisco, has come from the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund (somehow Boris Johnson seems to fit with air — hot air), via enviro-charity Sustrans and with help from bicycle infrastructuralists Cyclehoop. The idea is to reclaim leisure space.

Feryal Demirci Hackney cllr London 270215 ©
Feryal Demirci: mini park-maker

If the micropark/parklet is a hit, the council will open more around the borough, every one of them, says Hackney elegantly, “bespoke to its surroundings”.

Sustainability councillor Feryal Demirci wants residents to tell the council about where they would like more parklets.

Ben Addy, of Sustrans, said: “It’s possible for our neighbourhoods to be comfortable places — all that’s required is to reclaim some of the space from vehicles and hand it back to people.”

Neil Thornton, of nearby café Summer with Monika, commented in a press release: “The parklet will be a bonus for cyclist and walkers, giving them a chance to sit down, recharge their batteries and meet friends on their travels.”

Hackney likes to say it has the highest cycling rate in London and the lowest percentage of car ownership. Police, however, have shown little interest in enforcing the 20mph limit on council-controlled roads.

Hamish Scott 030715

* The parklet, 67-69 Pitfield Street, Hackney N1 6BT, opens today Friday 3 July 2015 at 2pm. Want a parklet in your street? Email

Backstory: Hackney 20mph limit hits barrier

Hackney parklet, 67-69 Pitfield Street, Hackney N1 6BT, opens on Friday 3 July 2015 ©
Park life: launch of the N1 6BT feature (rescue dog Harvey on guard)

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