PARK(ing) Day lets people re-imagine parking spots as anything but parking
Today is PARK(ing) Day, and while that might conjure up beautiful fantasies of endless open spaces, there will actually be fewer spots available as a result. That’s because people are being given the chance to re-imagine parking spots as anything but parking spots, and turn them into public spaces for all sorts of activities.
There are 62 installations throughout Seattle for parking day today, and the Seattle Department of Transportation has put together a map so you can visit each makeshift park, or avoid them to find actual parking, whichever strikes your fancy.
Some of the installations include mini-golf, a slapdash beach, a lemonade stand, Jenga playing, and an ad hoc Wailing Wall of tubes that asks people to give handwritten answers to the prompt, “What or who do you trust?” None of the participants re-imagined the parking spaces as other parking spaces.
Parking day is an annual global event that began as a grassroots movement, and SDOT adopted the day as a means of encouraging “communities to use streets as sites for public expression and creative experimentation, as well as for enjoyment and to promote health and wellness.”
The public can vote on their favorites, and there will even be an awards show at the Center for Architecture and Design from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Voting categories include “Most creative use of space,” “Most connected to community,” and “Most interactive programming,” but do not include the category “Was this better than a parking space?”
The event is part of the Seattle Design Festival, and the mini parks will be temporarily up from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. There’s been no word on whether any of them will be ticketed if they overstay their time.