On Sept. 15, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) will once again participate in the 12th annual Park(ing) Day. This event brings together local community members, designers and students to transform metered parking spaces into temporary mini-parks.
Originally started in 2005 by San Francisco art and design studio Rebar, the idea behind Park(ing) Day began with the observation that the vast majority of outdoor space is dedicated to vehicles, while only a small portion is set aside as open space for people.
With this in mind, Park(ing) Day was created. After a photo of Rebar’s original public park began to spread around, the firm received requests to create replicas of the space.
Rebar instead chose to create a how-to manual to allow anyone to create a pop-up park. Since then it has grown into a global experience that occurs annually on the third Friday of each September in hundreds of cities in dozens of countries.
“We challenge you to explore the full dimensions of urban social ecology, experimental design and creative vision in the humble parking spot,” Rebar said in their Park(ing) Day manual. “In deciding how to develop your Park installation, and how best to participate in this event, we encourage you to investigate the range of social, cultural or ecological deficiencies in your particular urban setting.”
Among previous years’ Park(ing) spaces, people have been able to visit a finger-painting studio, a chess tournament, a barbecue, a dog park and even a wedding ceremony.
To get involved with Park(ing) Day, contact your local ASLA chapter to sign up. For a chance to appear in Landscape Architecture Magazine, use the hashtag #ASLAPD17 with a picture of your completed park.