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PARK(ing) Day

Providing temporary public open space . . . one parking spot at at time.

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Written by DeletedUser

" 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!

 In recent years, participants have built free health clinics, planted temporary urban farms, produced ecology demonstrations, held political seminars, built art installations, opened free bike repair shops and even held a wedding ceremony! All this in the context of this most modest urban territory – the metered parking space.

And this is the true power of the open-source model: organizers identify specific community needs and values and use the event to draw attention to issues that are important to their local public—everything from experimentation and play to acts of generosity and kindness, to political issues such as water rights, labor equity, health care and marriage equality. All of these interventions, irrespective of where they fall on the political spectrum, support the original vision of PARK(ing) Day: to challenge existing notions of public urban space and empower people to help redefine space to suit specific community needs.

In addition to being quite a bit of fun, PARK(ing) Day has effectively re-valued the metered parking space as an important part of the commons – a site for generosity, cultural expression, socializing and play. And although the project is temporary, we hope PARK(ing) Day inspires you to participate in the civic processes that permanently alter the urban landscape.

Read more about the original PARK(ing) installation on the Rebar website, or to delve deeper into the theoretical framework of the project, consider downloading the PARK(ing) Day Manifesto."


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Photo of Szilvia Varga

It's a cool idea and I think it should be applicable in most cities:

It would definitely work in Budapest, especially in the downtown districts like the 7th, 8th and 9th.

I'm not sure it would work in Stockholm because here we have quite a lot of parks scattered around the city and also a bunch of islands in the center of the city with loads of greenery.

If I think about Beijing, I know there are car parks along the streets but what really struck me was the giant roads with 6 lanes each direction with two separated side roads for only motorbikes. Would be interesting if we could reclaim that space perhaps by closing down one street and paving it with grass and bushes like in your example. Imagine if a 100m patch of the 2nd ring road would be turned into a park with sun chairs and parasols and perhaps an ice cream stand and some people practicing tai chi. Chinese love their parks so I'm sure it would fly.

What do you think?

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