It is September 19th- Happy PARK-ing Day!
Times Up! ladies sporting their summer attire and hanging in their park on 7th Avenue
As the website states, "get out your benches, roll out your sod" Today is the third annual PARK(ing) Day. PARK(ing) Day is an international event that reclaims at least 200 PARKing spots in 50 cities across the world. Park(ing) Day NYC is organized by the New York City Streets Renaissance, a city-wide campaign for livable, people-friendly streets. NYC Streets Renaissance offered grants to people turning spaces into human hangout places for the day. The goal is to give residents a spot of green relief from all the asphalt and also to start a conversation about what public space is and how it should be used. You can cozy up to a park for a few moments or a few hours. Gather your coworkers, neighbors, and friends, your park is a place to relax with friends and strangers, and to chat about a multitude of urban planning topics: urban foraging, water issues, the importance of open/green space for city dwellers, etc.
People on the bean bags at Crumple Park
How did it start?
In October 2005, the group Transportation Alternatives took over a parking spot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They created their first "parking spot squat", offering free bike parking and a place to sit and talk to friends and strangers alike. Coincidentally, but perhaps not surprisingly, since San Francisco sometimes seems to be New York City’s separated-at-birth twin, at the same time the folks at SF’s REBAR arts collective were also at the time cooking up a similar project. After 2005, both events merged and expanded to become what is now known as PARKing Day.
Who is behind Parking Day?
PARKing Day is organized by artists, architects, planners, advocates, and citizens working together. PARKing Day 2008 emphasizes site-specific parks tailored to the communities they are located within. Seating, art, and community involvement all make the argument for more sensible and people-friendly use of urban public space.
NYU Wagners students relaxing in their park on 6th Avenue
Where are the parks?
As of midnight last night, New York City had roughly 60 parks planned for 9am. Because of proximity, I checked out City in A Box Park. Other parks are being sponsored by the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Times Up!, Cook and Fox, EDAW, Project for Public Spaces, and a variety of other organizations.
Go to the website to check out where the PARK closest to you is located:
In New York City
Trust for Public Land's Parking Spot List for All Cities
New Yorkers lunching and napping at the City in a Box Park
Highlights in Los Angeles: On PARK(ing) Day at 12:00 noon at Farmlab there will be a discussion with Don Shoup and Erik Knutzen (author of Home Grown Evolution)on park space and parking in L.A. In the evening there will be an after PARK party at the A+D museum.
PARKing Day LA
Highlights in San Francisco: One PARK will feature a wedding officiated by Bevan Duffy with bike parking. Another will feature a car covered with sod.