Did This Quiet Colorado Town Invent Parklets?
Parklets were inspired by San Francisco design studio Rebar’s idea in 2005 to temporarily appropriate a metered parking space into a public park for a day. That simple act has since become an annual open-source, global event known as PARK(ing) Day. The fascinating ‘patio’ program in downtown Louisville predates what is widely considered to be the first installation of parklets when Italian/Brazilian designer and London resident Suzi Bolgonese of Sb Design Studio installed a parklet in San Francisco in 2010.
In 2015, CNN’s Money Magazine named Lousville, CO as the 4th best place to live in America. A stroll down Main Street reveals that downtown Louisville has all the trendy things that modern-day, city-dwellers find desirable: coffee shops, a weekly farmers market, an artisanal bakery, a craft beer brewpub, great restaurants and an antique shop offering everything from vintage home goods to vinyl records. Ironically, many of these trendy businesses opened as the result of a dedicated group of Louisville merchants and stakeholders becoming trend setters, ushering in an era of parklets that are now popping up in almost every major downtown in the country.