In cities around the globe today, artists, activists and citizens will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called “PARK(ing) Day.”
Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, PARK(ing) Daychallenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure. “In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution,” says Rebar’s Matthew Passmore. “The planning strategies that generated these conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant human habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the urban landscape.”
This year Garden Station‘s Project Manager, Lisa Helm, has has coordinated several local organizations to sponsor parks. The Main Branch of the Dayton Metro Library is sponsoring a park in front of the library on St Clair. Garden Station is sponsoring a park in front of Blind Bob’s in the Oregon District, and City Hall is sponsoring a park on Ludlow Street. MetroParks is loaning plants for the day and Green Velvet Sod Farms has donated sod, which will end up at Garden Station. The Oregon District PARK(ing) Day park will have programming throughout the day including kids activities, yoga class and concerts. This is the fourth year Dayton will participate in the event.
Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2011 included 975 “PARK” installations in more than 160 cities in 35 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe. PARK(ing) Day is an “open-source” user-generated invention created by independent groups around the globe who adapt the project to champion creative, social or political causes that are relevant to their local urban conditions. More information regarding local PARK(ing) Day activities can be found on Facebook and a global map of all participating cities are available on the PARK(ing) Day website.
(submitted by Garden Station)