What is parking day?
Held the third Friday of every September (tomorrow!), Park(ing) Day transforms parking spaces across the globe into enlivened pocket parks or parklets—like succulent gardens, pop-up yoga sessions and dog-filled ‘barklets.’ For one day a year, Park(ing) Day inspires citizens, artists and activists to work together to reimagine urban communities with more open spaces.
Who/what brought this global urbanist holiday to life?
In 2005, San Francisco-based art and design studio Rebar converted a single metered parking space into a temporary mini park in the heart of the city’s downtown. The project was created in response to the fact that, at the time, 70 percent of the city’s public spaces were devoted to private vehicles. The Rebar team selected a parking space in a concrete-heavy area of the city, popped a few coins in the meter, rolled out living grass and added a bench and potted tree. Within minutes, the team saw curious passersby step into the space and interact with one another. “We created an opportunity for social interaction that wasn’t there before,” they remarked in a 2017 Citylab interview.
How do you celebrate?
Rebar’s original installation has gone on to inspire communities across the globe to participate in Park(ing) Day. To join the fun, contact your local American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) chapter to learn how you can get involved and experience a temporary parklet near you.
Happy Park(ing)—send us your parklet pictures!