Councillors sample a green future
18 October, 2019 — By Jane Clinton
Islington councillors viewing the parklets
ISLINGTON councillors were taken for a ride… to show them the new green areas created in spaces once used to park cars.
The so-called parklets are wooden boxes or spaces filled with plants and flowers and placed in reclaimed parking spaces.
Eilidh Murray, who is a volunteer with Living Streets and lives in Canonbury, said: “We wanted to show Islington how Brenda Peuch from Hackney has worked with her council and has got permits for parklets.
“If Hackney can do it, why can’t Islington?”
Ms Murray said the councillors, Tricia Clarke, Paul Convery and Roulin Khondoker, went on the tour by bike to Hackney and were largely positive about the idea of more parklets in Islington.
At present there are five commercial parklets in Islington – those that have been installed so far have been funded either from external grants or some from local allocation. Future funding is still under discussion.
There is only one community parklet, in Mayton Street. It has a special one-off permit until 2020.
“We wanted to show the Islington councillors what a community-led, council-enabled programme of parklet permits could deliver but to do this, we had to go to Hackney,” Ms Murray said.
“The idea behind parklets is to green the urban environment. Only 26 per cent of people in Islington have cars or access to cars and far too much of the public realm is devoted to parking cars.
“Parklets rehumanise and green the streets and encourage communities to get together. The council would have to give up the revenue from the car park space, but the positive impact on the community would far outweigh that.”
“The council has declared a climate emergency, they should be backing this initiative 101 per cent and taking more metal boxes off our roads.”
Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport said: “Islington positively welcomes Parklets to support and encourage more people to walk and cycle.”