Happy Park(ing) Day!

Today is Parkin(ing) Day, one of my favorite events to develop in recent years. The brainchild of San Francisco’s REBAR Group, Park(ing) Day started as one of their projects combining wierd street theater with a serious urban planning context. The group plunked some quarters into a San Francisco Parking meter, rolled out some sod in the street space they had just

People enjoy a temporary park set up in a parking space on a San Francisco Street in 2006 as part of the Park(ing) event created by REBAR Group.

People enjoy a temporary park set up in a parking space on a San Francisco Street in 2006 as part of the Park(ing) event created by REBAR Group.

rented, set up a bench and invited everyone to enjoy the park they had just created.

I don’t know if what they did was legal the first time, but I loved the presumption: “Look, I’ve just rented this spot on the street for an hour, right? Why do I have to only put a car on it? Why not a park — if I roll it up and take it with me when the time is up?”

From that single parking space on Mission Street (spitting distance from my old office at the San Francisco Examiner), the idea has grown to an annual event in many cities across the United States.

There are a number of interesting Park(ing) spaces to see in San Francisco, but I’ll put in my plug for the one at David Baker + Partners Architects, at the northwest corner of Second Street and Bryant Street. I don’t know what David has planned (and I’m on deadline today so I can’t go), but he does interesting work and he’s an interesting guy, so I’m sure it will be worth a visit.

Photo by Steve Rhodes under the Creative Commons license “Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.”

More resources:

Find Park(ing) Day events near you!

REBAR Group

National Park(ing) Day at the Trust for Public Land


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