Lockdown. A time when many of us became all too familiar with our own homes. With restrictions easing in many parts of the world, many cities are re-evaluating what public space looks like.

One measure gaining traction with many businesses and local councils is the encouragement of alfresco dining and drinking. The Clematis Streetscape Project, currently in its final stage, saw one of the most iconic streets in West Palm Beach undergo significant changes, creating a more welcoming, comfortable outdoor experience.

(You can find out more about that project, which Citygreen were proud to be involved with here – Clematis Street case study)

Liverpool is another city looking to create green spaces which spread people out and improve social distancing, without resorting to bright yellow and orange ‘caution’ tape.

Their outdoor dining initiative is designed to give the city’s restaurants a much-needed boost and involves pedestrianizing several streets completely and introducing “parklets”.

According to design consultancy Meristem, parklets are a way of converting parking spaces into something far more welcoming than the typical park bench, with seating, plants, green walls, and shade trees. Where before, parking availability was a primary concern, the focus is now on creating spaces that welcome people.

Meristem director Habib Khan said, “research shows that the majority of money spent in businesses on High Streets and in cities is not from drivers anymore.” Parklets and similar spaces are a critical component of creating safe, inviting outdoor dining environments and helping businesses emerge from their coronavirus lockdown.

The use of plants and trees to provide shade and tranquillity in busy city hubs is vital, and Liverpool has even included transparent screens in parklet designs so that people can be together, but be assured in their own bubble.

And while 2016 saw office spaces everywhere looking at including green walls in their building, bringing the outdoors inside, 2020 might see the world flip the switch on that concept. With more cities looking to increase alfresco dining options, green walls and parklets might see more of our indoors showing up outside.

Citygreen is supportive of any idea that transforms grey spaces into green and helps cities and industries thrive in a post lockdown world. To find out more about our Green Wall solutions, head to https://citygreen.com/product-category/green-wall-systems/