Parking spaces around Louisville to be temporarily reclaimed for people.
The registration process for PARK(ing) Day, a global, grassroots event where metered parking spaces are temporarily transformed into public parks and other social spaces, ends this week. PARK(ing) Day is held on the third Friday in September, this year falling on September 21, 2012.
It’s free to participate, although each group is responsible for their own park-building materials and parking meter fees. The registration form can be downloaded from the official PARK(ing) Day 502 website at www.parkingday502.org.
Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure.
“PARK(ing) Day is an excellent way to get people thinking and talking about how we use and sometimes misuse public space,” said planner Patrick Smith, AICP, author of MapGrapher. “The streets and sidewalks are one of our greatest public investments, and it’s important that we continue to spur discussions about how to make them more dynamic and responsive to human-scale needs.”
Locally operated as PARK(ing) Day 502 and organized by Broken Sidewalk, the Urban Design Studio, and MapGrapher, this year with additional in-kind support from IdeaFestival, the project first appeared in Louisville in 2007 with a pop-up park built by the local chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Local organizers are accepting registration forms from individuals, groups, and organizations to build pop-up parks this fall and coordinate with Metro Louisville to secure required permitting and reserve parking spaces. Registration forms can be downloaded online at www.parkingday502.org.
“At a time when large-scale civic transformations are cost prohibitive or take too long to implement, PARK(ing) Day provides an affordable, citizen-driven way to visualize change in our cities,” said Branden Klayko, Editor of Broken Sidewalk. “PARK(ing) Day offers a chance to experiment with small-scale interventions directly on the street that can lead to meaningful long term change.”
Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2011 included more than 975 pop-up “PARK” installations in 165 cities across 35 countries. In Louisville, seven (7) pop-up parks were built in the core city, ranging from an urban farm, to an open-air folk art museum, to a hammock park, to a zen garden, and were linked by a bike route. This year, PARK(ing) Day 502 seeks to engage the local community to expand the project with more pop-up parks across the city.
“PARK(ing) Day is a great example of visualizing change in our built environment,” said Patrick Piuma, Director of the Urban Design Studio. “There is significant educational value in taking ideas about urban design from the page to the street and giving people something they can touch, experience, and connect with.”
PARK(ing) Day is an “open-source” user-generated intervention created by independent groups around the globe who adapt the project to champion creative, social, or political causes that are relevant to their local urban conditions. More information, photos, and video regarding local PARK(ing) Day 502 activities can be found at www.parkingday502.org and a global map of all participating cities is available on the international PARK(ing) Day website, at www.parkingday.org.
About Broken Sidewalk: Published since 2008, Broken Sidewalk is an online publication and community forum for urban issues facing Louisville and its region, focusing on development, architecture, transportation, and public space.
About the Urban Design Studio: The UDS is a classroom, meeting point, resource base, and exhibition space that serves to raise community awareness of better design practices for our built environment with a focus on moving our city and region towards a sustainable future.
About MapGrapher: Patrick Smith publishes MapGrapher, a data- focused blog on urban and regional affairs. He is a certified planner, researcher, and videographer and has made digital maps for the Kentucky Geological Survey and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, has organized public engagement processes for the UK Transportation Center and UofL Center for Hazards Research, and currently is a consulting planner and evaluator with REACH Evaluation.
About Rebar: Founded in 2004 in San Francisco, Rebar is an internationally recognized art and design studio operating at the intersection of art, design and ecology.