PARKLET… Stockport town centre has become the pilot location for a ‘parklet’, a mini-park installed on-street that features seating, greenery and cycle parking, as well as an art wall, concrete table tennis table and chimes for children. The parklet is the first on-street infrastructure to be installed as part of Chris Boardman’s Bee Network, and if the monitoring period is successful, dozens of parklets and pocket parks are planned across Greater Manchester, to be put in under-used parking bays or on the road in quieter residential areas. Adding greenery and community uses is becoming more popular as town centres finally cotton on to the fact residents might be after more than concrete slabs, although THING can’t help but wonder… what is the difference between a pocket park, and a parklet?
COOL QUEUE… A long line of people queuing in the rain outside Albert Hall isn’t an unusual sight in Manchester, but it isn’t usually in eagerness to get into a property event. Last night the Manchester Society of Architects celebrated its annual awards, in such a fashion that the evening felt more like a concert than an awards do. While at times that meant the chatty crowd of younger architects were tough to control from the stage, the delapidated-but-cool surroundings of the hall and free-flowing bar brought a true feeling of celebration to the event, which was topped off by granting a Lifetime Acheivement Award to the profession’s favourite Manchester son, Lord Norman Foster. Unfortunately no surprise appearance by the Starchitect, so a video of him receiving his award had to do.
FRESH AIR… Next week is Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Week, and as part of various activities, an immersive artwork by Michael Pinsky will be appearing in MediaCityUK, allowing people to experience air pollution and smog from different cities around the world. Visitors pass through a series of climatically controlled domes comparing five global environments, starting with what is apaprently “truly clean” air of Tautra in Norway, through to smog and pollution found in London, New Delhi, Beijing and Sao Paolo, which between them have some of the lowest air quality in the world. The pollution pods will be appearing in situ from Monday 17 until Sunday 23 June.