Load a few coins in a parking meter. Set up your lawn chair. Open your cooler and prepare to celebrate PARK(ing) Day on Friday, September 16th. That’s the day artists, activists and citizens around the world will transform metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces.
Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, launched the event in 2005. It is a whimsical idea with a serious purpose. Rebar’s Matthew Passmore says, “In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution. 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.”
The first celebration happened in just one city. PARK(ing) Day 2010 included more than 800 “PARK” installations in more than 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents. Rebar has posted open-source resources to help kickstart any community’s PARK(ing) Day, and ideas are limited only by imagination.
Taxpayers subsidize way too much valuable real estate that only benefits our cars. The easier it is to drive and park, the more we have congestion, pollution and less green space. So for one day, take back part of the urban landscape. Feed the meter, decorate the space, then sing, dance, read, party, recite poetry or paint. When the meter runs out, clean up the space and toast the fun.
Be sure to contact local media so more PARK(ing) Day celebrations are inspired for next year.
In the meantime, enjoy this PARK(ing) slideshow from Rebar:
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Photo provided by Rebar