Parked Bench is a portable micro-park that replaces two standard car parking spaces, providing urban greening, public seating, and air quality monitoring functions.
The approach was to create a singular sculptural seating element around which zones of planting and small pockets of public space could occur and overlap, encouraging passers-by to stop and gather. The resulting interwoven seating and planting provide a buffer zone to the busy road, and create an organic extension of the pavement to encourage lingering and chance meetings.
The geometries of both the bench and planters are such that they are modular, scalable, and can be applied to a variety of sites. Materials are low cost and off-the shelf, with the bench and base elements constructed entirely from standard scaffolding boards. The modular, triangular planters are raw galvanized steel, and have been designed to be used in the future as standalone objects in a number of configurations.
The parklet also houses an air quality monitor that feeds real-time data to an app and website designed by King's College London, forming part of their wider network of air quality data collection points within London.
This first parklet has been delivered as part of the ‘Fresh Air Squares’ initiative to provide the busiest of the capital’s streets with urban greenery and to raise awareness of air quality issues within the city. Further versions are due to be installed in other locations within the London Bridge area in 2017.