September 17 was Park(ing) Day

September 18, 2010 | By | Reply More

Who were those people occupying parking spots all over the world without cars yesterday? In St. Louis, Missouri, they were employees of Arcturis, an architectural firm. They were celebrating Park(ing) Day:

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out! . . .

In addition to being quite a bit of fun, PARK(ing) Day has effectively re-valued the metered parking space as an important part of the commons – a site for generosity, cultural expression, socializing and play. And although the project is temporary, we hope PARK(ing) Day inspires you to participate in the civic processes that permanently alter the urban landscape.

Note: In London and Paris, cars are discouraged from coming into the city centers. Both of these activities would seem to fit under the umbrella of the “Car Free Movement.”

Addendum of Sept 20, 2010:

After publishing this post, I was contacted by Stephanie Co, who offered me the following image of a second group that was celebrating Park(ing) in the St. Louis area.  This group was parked in The Loop, at University City (click on the photo for more detail):

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Category: Environment

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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