PARK(ing) Day held on 18th September was an opportunity to transform a small public area in the city from a car-parking space to an active public space!
PARK(ing) Day is a daylong global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces. Now an annual event, the project began in 2005 when Rebar converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in an area of San Francisco that had limited open public space.
Parks and gardens are perhaps the best-recognised public areas; in fact, most of the publicly owned space in a city is roading. Reclaiming and repurposing car-parking spaces into parks for people, even for a short while, creates conversation about how public space is used in our cities.
More recently, car parking spaces have been turned into all kinds of imaginative things! In 2014, Gap Filler transformed a metered parking space into a pop-up grandstand with Alejandro Haiek-Coll (Elam School of Fine Arts Artist in Residence in association with The Physics Room) outside Centennial Pool, river side. A flat-deck trailer, seats, binoculars, umbrellas, plants, traffic cones, signage, fencing and BBQ were erected from 1 till 2 pm on 15th July for the enjoyment of the public.
Subsequently Eyes on the City became a regular Monday lunchtime series which ran across February and March 2015. A purpose-built grandstand was parked on a metered parking space in view of a building construction site or area of road works. Spectators could enjoy watching the laborious process of rebuilding the city and learn more about proposed developments from on-site commentators. Contractors and other guests were invited to update observers on their activities as part of each session.
To participate in PARK(ing) Day you must agree to the terms of its license. This website has some great resources that you can use including; a manual to help you with your planning and a poster that you can display on your parklet. To be part of their event it has to be a public space and not for profit.