PARK(ing) Day Takes to the Streets!

by , 09/25/07

PARK(ing) Day Takes the World by Storm!, PARK(ing) Day, ReBar, Public Architecture, San Francisco, Jill Fehrenbacher, San Francisco City Hall, mkLotus

Last Friday was Park(ing) Day – the day where San Franciscans and sprawl-fighting 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 year was a HUGE global success. In San Francisco alone, over 55 parking spaces were occupied by volunteers, government offices, and local businesses. While the parks were a nice divergence from the usual cars that occupy their space, the park that got the most attention was constantly on the move.

ReBar’s Pedal Powered Park distracted drivers, made cyclist stop in their tracks, and attracted as many cell phone cameras as any paparazzi followed celebrity. The parade float-meets-park traveled throughout the city eventually landing in Mayor Gavin Newsom’s parking space at the Capital Building across from Michelle Kaufaman’s MK Lotus house.


Riding on board in the video is fellow Park(ing) Day coordinator, Liz Ogbu of Public Architecture. Rebar provided not only the incredible design, but the necessary pedal power during the day to
Rebar’s movable park merging into traffic.

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  1. spindledesco May 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    This idea captured my imagination the very first time I heard about it. It’s such an elegant solution, residing within the laws of San Francisco, even.

    If anyone is still interested in planning one in their own city, Rebar’s started a social network this year to help people connect. Dissenters are welcome also, as in my experience, critique can inspire as much as encouragement!

  2. Gerard December 27, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    To those who are posting sophomoric detractions:

    1) The urban environment was originally conceived of for people to inhabit, work in, and shop in. It’s only recently (historically speaking) that we’ve shifted to auto-centric design, and typically as any given urban core X switches further to auto-centric design (wider streets with more lanes, fewer safe places for bicycles and pedestrians, shaving curb radii to ease higher-speed turning movements) it loses walkability, vitality, and tends to both sprout blight and lose retail tenants – you get a “dying city center” which we’ve all seen far too many time, in far too many places.
    This ongoing event directly addresses the fact that these city spaces are NOT “for” cars; they are for thetax-paying residents and workers in the city to use as they see fit, provided it’s legal.

    2) We tend, currently, to programme for far too many parking spaces, whether on-street or in lots for developable square footage in most cities and towns in the U.S.; this event/movement challenges this basic assumption, and points out that the footprint onf one *single* car can host a viable, pleasant pocket-park – albeit temporarily and without appropriate pedestrian or bicycle connectivity. Think what could be done with the footprint of just 2% of the cars coming through urban core X…

    3) This movement/event operates in the intersections between urban design, architecture and art, with the emphasis on art – it’s supposed to provoke thought, emotion and response, and hopefully dialogue – so your comment is part of that process. I admit that the uninformed tone is somewhat demeaning; nonetheless, perhaps as you are exposed to a wider range of thinking your commentary will become more cogent.

  3. teamPAHL October 5, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Well Jason, if you used any vulgarity or belittling language it will get removed. Most of the time they are wide open to legitimate criticism.

  4. Jason October 2, 2007 at 2:53 am

    Is there any particular reason why my valid criticism of this ridiculous idea was removed? Is that what you guys do here? Delete comments you don’t agree with? Pathetic.

  5. James David October 1, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I was wishing I could have found one in Boston.

  6. The Groundswell Blog is... October 1, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    […] folks over at Inhabitat has posted pictures from the PARK(ing) Day event in San Francisco, which was a terrific hit. They […]

  7. Bryce September 26, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks this idea is ridiculous, and not in a good way?

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