Sure, you could pay a parking meter to secure space to put your car - but where's the fun in that? Yesterday marked Park(ing) Day 2013 - and pop-up parks sprung up in parking spots across the states and around the world! What began as a single temporary park set up by San Francisco's Rebar Studio has grown into a full-blown international event where thousands of participants reclaim the streets in a celebration of public space. Team Inhabitat scoured cities from coast to coast in search of this year's most amazing Park(ing) Day spots, so read on for a look at some of our favorites - and if you'd like to share a park near you, send a photo and a brief description to editor[at]inhabitat.com!
San Francisco, CA — Interstice Architects go big every Park(ing) Day – and this year’s park was no disappointment! The Park-a-licious Public Bubble is a huge inflatable structure filled with balloons and bubble gum. Interstice designed the bubbly pod building using a computer and then painstakingly plotted out each individual piece and assembled them using a whole lot of duct tape.
San Francisco, CA — Freespace is a new arts and community center that will opening up in San Francisco’s Soma district this coming October. To celebrate parking day they set up an impromptu living room complete with a library and a “Dream Bar” that invited passers by to share their hopes and aspirations.
West Palm Beach, FL — Landscape architecture firm Land Design South created a lush oasis complete with tropical plants, comfy chaise lounges, and a checkers set. The beautifully landscaped space looks more like a garden patio than a parking spot!
San Francisco, CA — Students from the San Francisco Friends School celebrated parking day by giving away free compliments (!) and chanting “Honk if you love the environment”! Their pop-up park featured cool recycled cardboard furniture and plenty of impressive artwork.
Hartford, CT — “Parking Day – Just might become Parking Night??!!” says Weldedworks‘ Mark Andre Colbert. His awesome parking day planter bench is made from a repurposed dumpster!
Arnhem, Netherlands — Suzanne Nagtegaal and her students at Saxion put together an awesome park that looks like an overturned car! The structure has space for hanging planters, and the “roof” of the car provides a grassy place to sit.
San Francisco, CA — SF Environment teamed up with the SF County Transportation Authority to host a fun autumnal festival complete with hay stacks and games of cornhole. A bike hooked up to a generator powered a stereo system while guests played games and tested their knowledge about transportation and the environment.
San Francisco, CA — SPUR set up a fun park in support of their new Unbuilt San Francisco exhibition, which explores ideas for transforming the city that that never came to fruition. SPUR set up giant maps of San Francisco and invited visitors to draw suggestions for improving the city – from adding green roofs to fixing potholes and setting up bike lanes.
Portland, Oregon — Pips & Bounce sets up ping-pong parties throughout Portland, so what better way to celebrate Park(ing) Day than by setting up a parklet for keen ping-pong players?
San Francisco, CA — This toy-themed “Recess” parklet popped up in downtown SF, which encouraged workers to stop and take a break while playing with children’s toys and surrounded by colorful balloons.
San Francisco, CA — City Grazing took advantage of park(ing) day to introduce San Franciscans to the four-legged members of their organic weed abatement program.
San Francisco, CA — For the third year running, Morphic Beauty set up a parklet outside their San Francisco salon, where this year they provided “Indian Summer”-inspired hair-braiding!
San Francisco, CA — Veg and the City is a Zurich-based start-up that designs products to help urban gardeners grow in small spaces. For Park(ing) Day they took over three spaces in front of the Swissnex offices on Montgomery Street and held workshops on urban gardening.