Starting some more good: Wray Ave solar parklet

Here is another one of the ideas for co-funding between the City of Freo and the Freo community. Jean Paul has a vision for a solar parklet on Wray Ave. Check it out:

A parklet is a small incremental change to modify the street in a way that says you are welcome here. It’s a winning solution to resurrect little dead spaces into social rest stops.

The Wray Ave Solar Parklet turns a small section of unused road space into community space, through providing permanent seating, plants and solar power to charge personal devices and light the dark at night. The park transforms unused space into community space, providing a place to meet friends, watch the world go by or to rest on your way elsewhere. The sustainable solar parklet will be build using reclaimed materials by local crafts people. It is carefully designed to enhance local identity and community interaction by providing a place to meet and linger. Stay awhile!

So what is it? A parklet is basically a cleverly designed sidewalk rest stop with seating and plants and other amenities that may not be provided yet. In this design on Wray Ave the parklet will have solar lighting and power along with permanent seating and plants.

Urban planners define it as a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street in places where either current urban parks are lacking or where the existing sidewalk width is not large enough to accommodate vibrant street life activities. We say it’s a place to hang out, a place to stopsit down with your dog, and chill while taking in the activities of the street, meet a friend, or listen to that cool local jazz band that popups from time to time and not have to buy anything! That’s right. Even though the idea is to be near local businesses so you don’t have to go too far to get that awesome coffee or buy that present for a friend, it’s a public space and its free of obligation.

This parklet will take up a motorcycle bay and part of the end of pedestrian crossing (see photo) on the road creating a park that is flush with the sidewalk. This area is a local community hub, with a number of local shops and cafes, en route to downtown Fremantle. The location is perfect for both those using the local hub or moving through on their way to town. The area is congested and dark with a lack of both parks and street lighting. This parklet hopes to rectify both these issues, providing lighting at night and a small respite place.

– See more at:


About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

4 Responses to Starting some more good: Wray Ave solar parklet

  1. Lionel says:

    It is so meaningless to call something like this carbon neutral. The amount of ‘free’ power they will provide to users (assuming they can generate any with all that shade) is so small that it is easily dwarfed by the amount of carbon created to manufacture and ship the solar panels and inverter (from either China, Germany or the USA).

    $3500 of in-kind contributions stinks a bit. I am assuming this is the money the organisers are paying themselves for giving us such a wondrous project. There is also another $3000 for Management/Adminstration/website/logo/advertising. Not sure why a parklet need a website, logo or advertising.

    Not impressed to see my rates being spent on such pointless things.

    • Lionel
      For the project to get up the other 50% will need to be funded by community members who are willing to contribute. That is very direct democracy.

      Your claims on the solar panels don’t equate with the evidence. Transport and embedded energy pay back on solar PV is only a few years. After that they are energy positive.

      cheers, Brad

      • Lionel says:

        “Transport and embedded energy pay back on solar PV is only a few years. After that they are energy positive.”

        That is true when you install a residential or commercial system due to the amount of power consumed on a daily basis by households and offices. When you are only using a system to charge a few mobile phones you are probably only consuming 5 cents of electricity per day (that is being generous). Assuming it is used this much everyday (unlikely), they are saving a whopping $18.25 per year by installing solar panels. They have budgeted $5300 for their system so at this rate it will take 290 years for it to be paid off.

        There is no possible way you can do the sums and show that a $5300 PV system is viable for this application.

  2. Michelle Abbott says:

    With the who ha about artificial turf I find it amusing the use of rubber mats at your parklet. Also driving past today the parklet was empty and the shop behind closed down, is this really good use of ratepayers money?

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