Park(ing) Day

Sustainable Flatbush Park(ing) Day 2010If you search Google News for ‘parking day’ today, you’ll see 20,000 results that all refer to an event created by REBAR of San Francisco that has now spread worldwide.  REBAR is an art design and activism firm that, in 2005, created PARK(ing) Day – they “converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in an area of San Francisco this is underserved by public open space.” Today, the event has enthusiasts in cities all over the world – from Guatemala City to Caracas to Rio de Janiero, Cape Town, and Tehran.  What started as a simple expression of the need for urban open space has molded into something much bigger and deeper. Originally, parks would look much like any other park – grass, lawn chairs, and picnics.  But now, we’re seeing other social justice issues using PARK(ing) Day as a soapbox as well.  Recent year’s events have included a statement on bike vs. car space, an offering of free seeds, functional public art, non-profit services, and puppet shows.  It has become a physical manifestation of crowd-sourced notions of neighborhood need.

-Terra Curtis