Minneapolis is encouraging local businesses and community organizations to apply to host miniature public parks — known as parklets — or expanded café seating in parking spaces for 2024.

The city has allowed parklets since 2014 and street cafes since 2016.

Amy Barnstorff, transportation planner with Minneapolis Public Works, said positive reactions to the parklets from businesses and residents keep the program alive.

"The different hosts and things like that have nothing but great things to say about it," Barnstorff said, noting that hosts say the amenities attract business. "People are generally really supportive of this program."

Parklets can either be city-owned or community-run. The city provides chairs, plants and tables for hosts of the city-owned parklets, but the host is responsible for cleaning, watering and reporting any issues. With a community-run parklet, design and installation are left to the host.

Local businesses that host street cafes can serve more customers by expanding seating onto the nearby parking spaces.

Applications for a city-owned parklet will be accepted until April 1; the applications for street cafes and community-run parklets will be accepted on a rolling basis. The program will go from roughly May to October, and parking spaces used for parklets or street cafes must fit city-specified size requirements and not block utilities or bus stops.

More information about the application process is available on the city's website, minneapolismn.gov, or by emailing parklets@minneapolismn.gov.

Jack O'Connor is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for Star Tribune.