Parkly is a modular system that activates urban spaces with multifunctional public furniture. Parkly is an agile and flexible “ready-to-go” solution, which makes it an excellent option for tactical urbanism and place development. Urban development is often considered to be large-scale projects, slow processes, and big investments. Parkly is changing the course with an agile, flexible and circular solution that puts emphasis on small places first. Parkly is an easy way of adding life and greenery to public places.
Parkly has achieved a lot in the first two years: developing and sharpening the concept, over 100K revenue in both first years, extensive product development, digital tool for planning and over 15 clients of which two are abroad. Defining the market size is somewhat tricky because this is an emerging market, but it’s also a growing market. More and more cities, for example, are investing in their public spaces for the purposes of urban development, placemaking and placebranding and more.
What is your impact for society?
Päivi: Our mission is to create more livable cities through better public spaces. Places which connect people and nature can and should be an integral part of our cities and such places have a big impact on the quality of life in cities. Greenery has many proven health benefits, both mental and physical, and turning grey places to green places is a great way to support biodiversity too.
What is your impact for users and customers?
Päivi: We have had great and encouraging feedback from users, and this reinforces our vision. Parkly is literally bringing people together, we’ve seen Parkly’s in active use on summer streets, public squares, parklets and pocket parks. Having welcoming places to stop by, meet others and socialise is important in creating a good experience of a city, office park or campus area.
What are your Sustainable Development Goals and why?
Päivi: Parkly promotes good health and well-being (SDG 3) by bringing people together in public spaces, by adding more greenery in our urban spaces and activating people.
Parkly is all about industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9) – it’s a solution for new urbanism.
Parkly is designed based on responsible production and consumption (SDG 12). Parkly’s circular economy principles are: materials are of high quality and durable, parts are replaceable, recyclable and we don’t transport air around – Parkly comes flat packed and saves space.
Parkly is showing how public places can be the “facade” of our sustainable cities and creating a network of sustainable, green spaces can really have an impact in whole cities. Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) simply come together in greener, welcoming public spaces.
Such places also promote gender equality (SDG 5) in cities: safe welcoming places are for everyone, from teenage girls to gather to senior citizens to have a rest.
Climate action (SDG 13) needs to happen at all levels and on the urban space level it means adding more greenery to alleviate heat island effect, manage run-off waters and adding plants which support biodiversity. Small pocket parks can also be local food gardens and the contact point for citizens to have a concrete example of how climate-wise cities are.
Parkly is a platform for collaboration and partnerships for the goals (SDG 17). We work with innovative green service companies such as Innogreen and form collaborations with other startups such as LignoSphere in the Aalto University Campus project. We also work actively to push the agenda of liveable cities together with a wide network of professionals, researchers and businesses.
What kind of benefit and help have you gotten from Urban Tech Helsinki, Aalto Startup Center / this ecosystem?
Päivi: Networking support, support in communication, defining our concept and targets and helping to define where we are at and what should be the next steps. And of course, being amongst impact driven people and getting peer support is a great push to keep doing what you are doing!
Read more about Päivi and Parkly: https://helloparkly.com/people/