park(ing) day

Pavements to Parks: Park(ing) Day, every day

Pavements to Parks: Park(ing) Day, every day

People, Parklets, and Pavement to Parks (plus Mojo Bicycle Café) from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

This year’s Park(ing) Day (an annual event I covered a few years ago) has come and gone and was another great success. In fact, it looks like they’re still counting the number of temporary “parks” people created in parking spaces around the world. Of course, all of those green spaces are gone now, but wouldn’t it be nice if parking spaces were being converted into spots for permanent enjoyment of the outdoors?

Guerrilla community activism: create your own green space on Park(ing) Day

Guerrilla community activism: create your own green space on Park(ing) Day

Had a chance to watch HIGH LINE STORIES yet? If so, you’ve witnessed not only how abandoned infrastructure can be transformed into useful green space, but also how community activists, officials, and even celebrities can come together and organize a project of this magnitude. The contributions of all players provide a model for empowering other budding change agents.

But what if you simply don’t have the time, or other resources, to spearhead an effort like the High Line? Creating change in your community doesn’t have to involve months or years of full-time work… in fact, it may be as simple as claiming a parking space.

That’s the idea behind Park(ing) Day, an initiative created by San Francisco-based art collective Rebar in 2005. The premise is simple: on a single day, citizens transform metered parking spaces into Park(ing) spaces, or “temporary public parks.” While these parks only last for a day, the idea is to get people discussing green space in their communities… and how parking is often a bigger priority than parks.