Parklets have been a long-standing plan for Colmore BID, however with the onset of Covid-19, the need for the community spaces became even more apparent as the BID looked to further support the struggling leisure and hospitality industry.
At the peak there were seven parklets located within the District providing ‘cafe culture’ spaces for workers and visitors alike.
Each parklet had capacity for around 20 people within four defined areas; seating with a low table for coffee and drinks, an area for dining with a high table, standing room only and an area that was specifically designed to be accessible for wheelchair users.
Colmore BID worked with EventMen to design each parklet for its specific location, ensuring it meets relevant planning, licensing, counter terrorism and equalities standards. We also commissioned Birmingham City Council’s award-winning nursery team to add floral decorations, keeping with the BIDs ethos to ‘green’ the District, much like its popular flower towers. We also commissioned parklet artworks executed by, among others, recent graduates of the School of Art in Margaret Street.
Many of this ‘first wave’ of parklets have served their Covid-related purpose and have been removed, some for the installation of permanently extended paving areas, others at the request of the adjacent venues and two because their ‘meanwhile’ use has been replaced by permanent high-quality public realm where ‘cafe culture’ will flow naturally from the improved environment. One parklet is due to remain on Colmore Row outside 200 Degrees cafe.
Colmore BID will maintain its enthusiasm for parklets and is currently lobbying Birmingham City Council to produce parklet guidance for the whole city centre.