Today is Park(ing) day, a day where hundreds of parking spaces in cities around the world will be overtaken by the people, turned into public, park space. This is a wonderful idea – taking back car space for the people and the planet.
As the campaign website states it, “PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event that inspires city dwellers everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.”
From the press release (pdf): [emphasis/links added]
Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, PARK(ing) Day is a grassroots, “open-source” art project that challenges people to rethink the way streets are used. “In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution,” says Rebar’s Matthew Passmore. “The 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.”
Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2009 included more than 700 “PARK” installations in more than 140 cities in 21 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe, including first-time PARK installation in Tehran, Iran.
More information regarding local PARK(ing) Day activities and a global map of all participating cities are available at parkingday.org.
Similar ideas have been taking form around the world in the last decade: reclaiming areas of the city for nature, converting roadways into pedestrian-only areas and making cities more people-friendly. I hope that someday all our cities will look more like the people are the dominate species, not cars.