PARK(ing) Day!

One of the biggest environmental issues Landscape Architects deal with on a daily basis is the amount of asphalt that covers vast expanses of our earth. As a response to our extremely car dependent society, roads, highways, and parking lots have become a key factor in the creation of our cities and our land use patterns. However, as global awareness and education about the negative environmental, cultural, societal, and ultimately aesthetic impact of our car-dependent ways become more mainstream, various movements such as PARK(ing) Day have been born that are challenging our traditional ways of thinking and are shining the light on the human need for public urban open space.

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco.

Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!”

Once you have checked out PARK(ing) Day’s website to understand their mission and to look at the fun and innovative ways they are using parking spaces to create temporary urban open spaces, ask yourself; “How would I design a PARK(ing) space that could initiate human interaction and discussion?”


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