PARK(ing) Day Turns Parking Spaces Into Parklets

September 18, 2015 by


What began in 2005 as a local art project designed to call attention to the need for more open urban social spaces, PARK(ing) Day has become an annual global event which now engages local communities in rethinking the way they use curbside public spaces. 

parkletImage taken by Alexandra Hay of The Field

artSpace by David Cates, Kate Armstrong and Jesse Allen at Hastings Architecture. Photo: John Partipilo, The Tennessean.

Since San Francisco-based design studio Rebar launched the project with a single parking space re-imagined as a pop-up public gathering spot, citizen designers all over the world have taken PARK(ing) Day to heart and created some truly unique and clever street havens.

Digital CameraImage via

Every year on the third Friday of September, inventive participants transform metered parking spaces into traditional pocket-sized parks and gardens, as well as public spaces for political seminars, live entertainment, free health clinics, art installations, giant game boards, free bike repair shops, and even pop-up urban farms.

pianoImage via

dog parkImage via

the penn staterImage via Happy PARK(ing) Day | The Penn Stater

parkcycle1_pageImage via

parking_day_photo_r900x493Image via The San Diego Union-Tribune | Downtown San Diego Partnership/Jennifer Davies

dublinparkingdayImage via

montrealImage via

Beyond pretty temporary lounging spaces, PARK(ing) Day has become a catalyst for igniting discussion about the way cities plan urban industrialized areas. Citizens from more than 160 cities on six continents across the globe have become galvanized to expand upon what Rebar started years ago to raise awareness about increased traffic congestion, pollution, and poor health resulting from inadequate urban planning.

Independent of Rebar, collective groups have expanded on the original idea while maintaining the project’s original spirit. If you’re motivated to create your own public space statement, follow the instructions found here in the official PARK(ing) Day Manual and Manifesto.

PARK(ing) Day 2015 takes place all around the world on Friday, September 18. If you happen to see any spaces you love designed by Park(ing) Day participants, share them with us via Instagram @urbangardens!

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