A pocket park is a green oasis that suddenly pops out in an urban area and is usually created on small and unused places between buildings. It got its name because it is surrounded by houses or commercial buildings from three sides and that way it looks like a park in a pocket. It provides the community with a piece of nature for relaxation, gathering and joy.
Pocket parks are like surprises popping up when you need them most. You can spend your time reading the morning papers, have a business lunch in a shade and quiet atmosphere or have a drink while reading a book. Although pocket parks are usually too small for physical activities, you can still play chess, different board games or even bring your kids to play in a tiny playground. This way, you will enjoy and feel closer to nature.
Little used places, old parking lots or some other undervalued areas can be transformed into places that invite a community to interact. These urban oases even raise the value of the houses in the neighborhood. They make a city more livable and offer a quiet space for creativity and socialization. But pocket parks are not only characteristic in an urban area, they can also be found in suburban and rural environments.
There is no specific rule for pocket park designs and these attractive public spaces can have different uses: a place to read, sunbathe, have picnic, gather and enjoy the nature even in the very center of a city. Because of their size and shape, pocket parks can also be locked when not used.
Many researches prove that pocket parks contribute to reduction of stress and vandalism, lower rates of mortality and have health benefits. So imagine a place with a small fountain, benches and ivy covered walls where you would spend your free time in the shade…
We believe there are many small and forgotten spaces in our urban environments that could be developed with greenery, regardless the fact they are pockets, open spaces, horizontal or vertical. What are your experiences with pocket parks? Would you like to take your park in your pocket everywhere with you?