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Council backs Alliance plans to revolutionise outdoor spaces

Alliance Councillors are aiming to make it easier to enjoy open, public spaces as the current Covid-19 restrictions continue, suggesting ‘Parklets’ as the way forward for meet ups outdoors.

East Belfast Councillors Ross McMullan and Peter McReynolds brought a motion suggesting a greater use of Parklets to City Growth and Regeneration committee last night, where the scheme got approval to move to the next level.

Parklets – public seating platforms that turn two or three car parking spaces into a community space for people to stop, rest and enjoy – have the potential to make a big difference to how we spend time outdoors.

Ross said: “Parklets have been a regular feature in towns and cities across the world, but now, as we continue to face Covid-19 and the challenges in accessing outside space have made this scheme more essential than ever.

“We need to make our high streets more liveable, more people focused and places that have fantastic benefits for residents, customers and businesses and Parklets have been a proven way to do this.

“We need to look at our options to live alongside Covid-19 and that’s why this motion was so important – to start the conversation and assess just how this project could transform our lives during and after the pandemic.”

Peter added: ‘The recent lockdowns and restrictions have shown us the importance of having public spaces that facilitate and encourage a Belfast that puts people first’

“A Parklet scheme is a quick and easy way for communities to reclaim public space for engaging with each other, supporting local businesses and creating a more environmentally friendly Belfast. Building back better doesn’t require us to reinvent the wheel, it can be through small but significant positive steps forward through Parklets, and I cannot wait to see more pop up around Belfast.”