The ParKit, a park-making kit, makes small temporary parks mobile. A classic example of Tactical Urbanism, as pioneered by Mike Lyndon and Anthony Garcia, the ParKit’s main objective is enacting short-term, low-stakes simulations of what could be permanent park installations, servicing the wants and needs of multiple publics in the process.
A bike pulls a trailer holding all of the necessary components needed for constructing a small temporary park.
The current version consists of a deck box that doubles as a bench, a bistro table and chairs, a patio umbrella, low fencing for demarcating space, and a bean-bag-toss game.
The ParKit is designed to be ridden around a city and to be quickly assembled and disassembled, enabling previously unused spaces to quickly and easily be seen as more inviting. The park design can be easily adapted to many potential locations and to the communities’ interests by changing the components. In cooperation with community members, we can test the efficacy of appropriate design interventions without the costs associated with fully developed park proposals and public forums.
The ParKit is being developed with full engagement from the communities in which we work. We ask questions of visitors to our parks in Northampton, MA, at multiple stages in the process. Community engaged research will allow us to iterate the ParKit components to address user likes, dislikes, and desired location/landscape typographies for small park development. The ParKit team uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze data from a survey instrument deployed at each ParKit installation and determine appropriate locations for parks and relevant park design criteria. Mobile in nature, our vision is to reach out to communities who are less likely to have the time, resources or political leverage to engage in community design.