This summer, Newbury Street will sacrifice two parking spaces for a “parklet,” a pop-up array of stylish benches, tables, and greenery offering shoppers in the pedestrian-packed area a new place to take a load off.
Set to be installed at the Sunday, July 8 debut of “Open Newbury,” the first of three days during which the street is closed to traffic, the parklet will be the first of its kind in the Back Bay, and the city’s first-ever moveable mini-park. The miniature porch-like space appear first in parking spots outside Thinking Cup Coffee at 85 Newbury St., then move in front of Shake Shack, and then Pavement Coffeehouse/Pressed Juicery.
Parklets had a bit of a moment a few years back, when they were thought of as a fresh new way of reclaiming and repurposing public space. With the guidance of the city’s Transportation Department, several of them sprouted around the city in 2013. The city even developed a Parklet Program designed specifically to oversee the little pop-up spaces. Right now, you can find parklets in Audubon Circle and Roslindale Village. Another one recently opened up outside a Brookline bakery.
“The Newbury Street parklet will be the first for the Back Bay, providing local residents and the neighborhood’s many visitors with a prime gathering spot,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “Parklets are an innovate technique used to increase open space in an urban environment and enhance the quality of the public realm, and I hope everyone will get the chance to enjoy this new one coming to Back Bay.”
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