Gallery: HOW TO: Turn a Parking Space into a PARK


You may have seen this blogging around recently, since the indomitable Rebar collective staged a brilliant urban intervention in San Francisco last month by rolling out some sod and building a mini park in a metered parking space. My friend Gregory Kellett, who assisted in the production of Rebar’s video documentary, sent along a link to their trailer, which is now available for viewing at the Rebar website and shouldn’t be missed.

With many thanks to Matt Passmore and his Rebar brothers, we share with you some simple instructions on building your very own temporary urban park in a parking space. Just be sure you pay the meter. There’s no such thing as free rent…

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  1. sir jorge March 6, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    if they did that here in seattle, no one could work in downtown.

  2. Reclaim the Parkplatz &... September 30, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    […] citizens around the world reclaimed parking spots to turn them into green spaces! What started as a few grassy plots of sod occupying metered parking spots in San Francisco has blossomed into a world-wide event, and this […]

  3. rebel:art » Blog ... September 30, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    […] citizens around the world reclaimed parking spots to turn them into green spaces! What started as a few grassy plots of sod occupying metered parking spots in San Francisco has blossomed into a world-wide event, and this […]

  4. mikalacat » hope ... August 16, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    […] If you want to turn a public concrete space into a park, the folks at Rebar in San Francisco have a nifty little instruction article here. […]

  5. Inhabitat » Blog ... August 26, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    […] The Rebar Group, who you’ll doubtless remember from their PARK(ing) project, is proving that inspired action can be contagious. The collective of San Francisco greenthumb-artist-activists rolled out sod in a metered parking space last year and set off a viral wave of enthusiasm for disruptive urban art. Now they’re taking to the streets again, and this time, they want you to join them! […]

  6. Matthew Cornell August 20, 2006 at 1:25 pm

    In-freakin-credible! Beautiful idea, great instructions. Thank you!

  7. Inhabitat » Blog ... August 1, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    […] This project reminds us of Rebar’s PARK(ing), which turned metered parking spaces into temporary parks. Both concepts point out not only on our lack of interesting green space, but also our lack of time to enjoy them. We’re huge fans of urban intervention as a means of shaking up normalcy and calling for a change. […]

  8. Saska May 22, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    What a beautiful idea!
    I am collaborating with some fellow sculpture students, to replicate the project in Portland OR.
    on June 1st, 2006

  9. joel May 22, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    really nice idea, and the whole thing on returning the bench thing, maby it isnt very nice but oh well. instead of taking a bench what about some blankets and pillows, cheaper and less formal! turn it into a picnic! now thats an idea

  10. xtian April 29, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    Return the bench? Writing instructions to be cheap and stick it to the man while at the at the same time participating in an experiment in creative urban living. Is this trying a little too hard for every ounce of legitimacy? Its like dropping into the middle of an episode of the West Wing and Josh is talking about how they can rock the vote to the Mexican-American minority. Then Congressman Santos says, “But remember Josh, I am Mexican. We already have that vote.”

  11. eridun February 1, 2006 at 5:29 am

    I think this is an awesome idea! and that whole “returning the bench for a full refund” – it was the big stores idea, not a crime if they didn’t think about that first. Though I would actually just keep the thing – benches are cool and an easy platform to start creating on: paint brushes? ready! clay? ready! GO!

  12. Sarah January 20, 2006 at 12:32 am

    Well, I’ll grant you that it’s not necessarily the most honest move…you could always seize the DIY spirit (which is the spirit of the entire project otherwise) and build your own! Or take the one you buy and put it at your house. Who doesn’t need a park bench?

    And Dan, I am with you. Practicing parallel parking is better than practicing meditation, and a perfect parallel parking moment is absolutely transcendent.

  13. cdub January 20, 2006 at 12:27 am

    I like creative subversion, so I’m hesitant to be a wet blanket. But suggesting buying a bench and returning it for a full refund after using it is unethical. If you’re opposed to to “big box” retailers and their business practices, well enough: don’t patronize them. But condoning theft (it is theft, don’t kid yourself) in the context of an otherwise delightful and positive project is irritating.

  14. Dan Lurie January 20, 2006 at 12:24 am

    In San Francisco, parallel parking is not just a way of life, but a fine art form, to be honed and perfected until you can squeeze your car into a space 3 feet too small.

  15. George January 19, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    Those cars parked are very close together. How are they meant to get out given that it’s a 2 hour parking space? :)

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