Free Parking!

What to do when your city is lacking green space? When you've got all the spirit of an urban designer coursing through your veins and no clue how to satisfy her? While all the world is your stage? I think I may have the ticket.

Park(ing) Day, a one-day global event through which activists, artists, treehuggers--in a word, people--takeover metered parking spots and temporarily transform them into urban greenspace. They use bicycles usually, to haul plants and parkbenches and rolls of verdant sod through city streets where they literally park, for two hour chunks at a time, or as long as someone feeds the meter, and declare public space. The project takes place in TONS of cities all over the United States and internationally, with local variations depending on its ambassador and by the looks of things in 2007, warrants our undying praise and affection.

The project was founded by the San Francisco based art and activism collaborative REBAR and coordinated through the Trust for Public Land, an national nonprofit working to conserve public greenspace. The latter's website offers a list of participating cities, sometimes with corresponding maps denoting where the proposed park is to appear on Friday. They also provided instructions for obtaining permission and getting started with your own Park(ing) Day Park. I'd suggest visiting both websites for the full gamut of information surrounding what to do if you'd like to park come Friday. They've even made a How-To Manual. How can you say no? The whole effort is volunteer, which is pretty remarkable considering the scope and ambition of the concept. And in case you're having trouble picturing the thing, here is a visual:

and another:

Get out there! If Kenosha, WI can manage to be a part of this, I think you probably can too.

1 comment:

  1. hah! I rode by a spot all fixed up on jeweler's row this morning and didn't know what...? just thought it was someone being funny/cool, good to know it's even more! thanks for the post.