PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day global event where artists, activists and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into public parks or installations.
The idea started in 2005 when REBAR, a San Francisco art and design studio, challenges people to rethink the way streets are used. They wish to reinforce the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure.
As someone who walks everywhere I can instead of taking my car, I share their feeling. Urban planners and developers should put priority on pedestrians and imagine cities where we can walk more instead of driving. Walking is good for your mind and your body. You feel more relaxed when you walk than when you drive in traffic.
Popularity of PARK(ing) Day
PARK(ing) Day happened in several cities across the globe. In 2008, 500 PARK installations were done in 100 cities spread in 4 continents. People created picnic places, meeting places, gardening exhibits, kid pool areas, temporary library up to a free health clinic.
All installations must be a non-commercial plus the organizers of every local event must respect a set of rules. If you see the above poster Friday, you will know what it stands for.
Transforming a PARK(ing) spot for a day is not risk-free
Organizing an event like that can be tricky due to parking laws. It is best to obtain a permit from the city first if you wish to participate. Read what happened last year when a Forest Hill gallery put Muskoka chairs on a grassy floor and serve free lemonade on a parking spot on Spadina Street, Toronto.
+ Photos via the PARK(ing) Day community