Pictured above: staff from Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy doing a test run of this year’s PARK(ing) Day spot.
PARK(ing) Day challenges us to ask the simple question, “are we making the best use of our limited urban spaces?” On the third Friday in September, wander around Philadelphia or any other major city in the world and odds are you’ll find a slew of downtown street parking spaces that have been transformed into parklets for the day, inviting passersby to sit for a moment in this refreshed experience of urban public space. A little history from the original organizers:
“The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!”
Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation have teamed up over the last 4 years to create lush and inviting urban oases on some of the busiest Center City streets offering visitors a chance to relax, learn a bit more about Philly’s incredible park system and maybe even catch a glimpse of Phred the Panda. We get so excited every year to transform a space normally inhabited by an empty car into a space inhabited by happy, often surprised strangers who often learn something new about Philly’s parks and make a few new friends. We hope you’ll join us this year as we celebrate PARK(ing) Day in our spot on the 1600 block of JFK Boulevard – the south side just a few minutes away from Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s offices. For the complete map and more information about the day click here. To invite your friends on Facebook, click here. And if you’re planning to stop by, we’ll definitely have some fun swag for you and maybe even…donuts!