PARK(ing) Day: Anti-Parking Activists Steal Spots Around World

Today, the fifth annual PARK(ing) Day, is the day purportedly anti-parking terrorists activists turn metered parking spaces into art shows, community spaces and mini shops. Submit your photos and check out the gallery of past reclaimed spots below.

View gallery »

We're told this event is a pyschogeographic stance against the curbside parking infrastructure, which activists say "results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution. The strategies that generated these conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant urban human habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the metropolitan landscape."


We are, first and foremost, a lover of all things cars, but curbside parking in the middle of downtown areas isn't really about cars. It's more about inefficiencies and creation of more traffic. Heck, unless you live on Alameda, it's not even good for car-watching because it's mostly Honda Accords and beat up Neons.

The problem is many of these anti-parking activists are nothing more than anti-car activists in disguise. They sneakily use terms like "parking" as a way of saying "cars." For these people we say — go to hell. But to those real infrastructure-obsessed members of this community — we tip our hats to them and wholeheartedly support their cause.

There are PARK(ing) Day sites around the world, as you can see from the pics, which you can check out here. HINT: there are a lot of them in San Francisco and Austin and other places like that, though we're also told they're in Salt Lake City and Tulsa.

If you plan on participating in one of these — or if you plan on breaking one of them up — drop a photo in the comments below and we'll throw it on the site.

PARK(ing) Day 2009:
Parking spaces around the globe to be temporarily reclaimed for people

San Francisco, Calif. September 18, 2009 - In cities around the globe today,
artists, activists and citizens will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into
public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called "PARK(ing)
Day."

Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio,
PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces
the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure. "In urban centers around
the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and
more pollution," says Rebar's Matthew Passmore. "The strategies that generated these
conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant urban human
habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the metropolitan
landscape."

Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement:
PARK(ing) Day 2008 included more than 500 "PARK" installations in more than 100
cities on four continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers
across the globe, including first-time PARK installations in South Africa, Poland,
Norway, New Zealand and South Korea. "Urban inhabitants worldwide recognize the
need for new approaches to making the urban landscape," says Rebar's John Bela.
"PARK(ing) Day demonstrates that even temporary or interim spatial reprogramming
can improve the character of the city."

Over the four years of PARK(ing) Day, participants have broadened the scope of PARK
installations to fulfill a range of unmet social needs. "From public parks to free health
clinics, from art galleries to demonstration gardens, PARK(ing) Day participants have
claimed the metered parking space as a rich new territory for creative
experimentation, activism, socializing and play," says Blaine Merker of Rebar.

"While PARK(ing) Day may be temporary," Merker adds, "the image of possibility it
offers has lasting effects and is shifting the way streets are perceived and utilized."

In San Francisco, Rebar will deploy its "PARKcycle" – a pedal-powered mobile park,
capable of delivering public green space where and when it is needed. "This year we're
going to outfit the PARKcycle with a new type of park. We are keeping the details
secret, but we'll be out pedaling around and visiting other PARK(ing) Day installations
around the city," says Rebar's Teresa Aguilera. "If you live or work in San Francisco,
keep your eyes open for a twenty-two foot long park pedaling through the streets. It
will be hard to miss," she adds.

PARK(ing) Day is a grassroots, "open-source" invention built by independent groups
around the globe who adapt the project to champion creative, social or political causes
that are relevant to their local urban conditions. Rebar has exhibited PARK(ing) Day at
venues worldwide, including at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, ISEA 2009
Dublin, the Canadian Center for Architecture, the American Institute of Architects and
the Van Alen Institute in New York.

More information regarding local PARK(ing) Day activities and a global map of all
participating cities are available on the PARK(ing) Day Network at
http://my.parkingday.org.