On Kensington Street, in the heart of CBD Sydney, the roads are closed from Thursday to Sunday for visitors to enjoy the lifestyle precinct of heritage, hospitality and retail. Within Kensington Street, People Parkers and Replas have collaborated to create a sustainable, mobile parklet – made using recycled plastic products. “Replas products are proven in public spaces all across Australia,” explains Kris Spann, Founder of People Parkers, “they both reduce maintenance and increase awareness of sustainable fabrication possibilities. The materials are strong and robust and the transparent sourcing from post-consumer and post-industrial waste allowed us to tell a complete story of our products origins.”
Parklets are the perfect sidewalk extension, providing more space and social distancing in parking lanes and public spaces. “The response from our team is only outweighed by the response from our clients and the general public,” said Kris. “They have been wowed when learning of the product origins, it’s low maintenance requirements and its aesthetic qualities.” Using recycled plastic profiles and Enduroplank™ decking means no rotting, splitting, cracking or splintering – allowing Kensington Street to roll out the seating every weekend without a second thought.
“We want to create products with circular lifecycles that utilise recycled materials and can be recycled themselves once they have served their purpose,” continued Kris, “the beauty of the journey of using Replas products has been the conversations that it has started with our peers and the general public. The possibilities of utilising recycled materials in fabrication and the public realm are limited only by business and society’s willingness to embrace new applications for them and invent new methodologies to use them.  People Parkers and Replas have created a new way forward in parklets, embracing the ever changing nature of public spaces with sustainable, long lasting, and durable recycled plastic products. As Kris mentions, “the future lies in embracing sustainable practices and Replas’ products are the best in Australia.”

On September 14th, The Age reported, “bars and restaurants will take their operations to the streets this summer, under a multi-million dollar package designed to prop up Melbourne’s ailing hospitality sector.” As we enter a post Covid-19 world, high streets and hospitality businesses are needing all the help they can get to have the best chances of recovering. Recycled plastic parklets will allow business patrons to feel safe whilst supporting them. “Councils and state governments now have the ability to allow the extension of footpaths and outdoor dining into adjoining car parks or temporarily close off streets to provide more public space for businesses to operate and communities to utilise,” said Kris. “The global parklet movement is currently scrambling to provide design solutions to facilitate this expansion. The partnership with Replas now adds a layer of sustainability and durability to our already tried and tested functionality,” continued Kris.

The push for outdoor dining in the CBD, suburbs and regional Victoria was modelled on New York’s Open Restaurants initiative, which is credited with helping 9500 restaurants and cafes keep afloat during COVID-19 restrictions.

There, indoor dining is banned but footpaths, lanes and even some streets have been transformed into open-air bars, cafes and restaurants.

Mr [Premier Daniel] Andrews confirmed some Melbourne streets and lanes will be closed to allow for outdoor dining and drinking.

Photo credit David Li Photography