A parking spot transformed into a park in Munich. Image Credit: ITDP-Europevia Flickr
If you're ever frustrated by how much urban space is dedicated to cars instead of public use, today is your day. All over the world, citizens, artists and activists are taking part in PARK(ing) Day: taking over metered spaces and transforming them into parks for everyone to enjoy. It all started in 2005, when San Francisco art and design studio Rebar turned a metered space into a public park for two hours. Since then, the idea has become an annual event, with participants in six continents. Last year's celebration included 700 parks in 21 countries.
A park in Ijzerenleen, Belgium, in 2007. Image Credit: Kris, via Park(ing) Day
The event's website writes:
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.
If you're interested in getting involved, the PARK(ing) Day organizers encourage you to grab some quarters, "rent" a space, and settle in. (They also note you should look into your city's legal codes before getting started.) You can map your park, or find one near you, with their interactive map. If you want to know more about the ideas behind PARK(ing) Day or support the cause, you can a tee-shirt, poster, or the PARK(ing) Day manifesto through their website.
More on taking back urban space:
Parking Lots to Parks: Designing Livable Cities
'Empty' Spaces are Full of Life in Berlin -- For Now
Spectacular Urban Transformation in Student Green Roof Design Competition