PARK(ing) Day swaps cars for open space

Annual event seeks to "reclaim your city" with curbside mini-parks

  • Members of Floura Teeter landscape architecture firm play bocce in parking spaces taken over for a day on West. Franklin Street.
Members of Floura Teeter landscape architecture firm play… (Kenneth K. Lam, 2010 )
September 21, 2012|Tim Wheeler

It's PARK(ing) Day again, that annual global happening where teams of artists, architects and others take over curbside parking spaces for a day and convert them into open-air lounges, picnic areas and pocket parks.

First launched in 2005 in San Francisco by Rebar, an art and design studio there, it's spread and grown. Per the event's slogan, "Reclaim Your City," the aim is to get people thinking about alternatives to the miles and miles of pavement laid to serve our car culture.

Last year there were 975 "parks" created in 162 cities in 35 countries, including right here in Baltimore.  This year, organizers say there'll be 15 or more spaces set up in the city and its suburbs.

For instance:

Ayers Saint Gross, an architecture firm, plans a VEG(out) at Thames and Broadway in Fells Point.

Floura-Teeter landscape architects will be offering bike-powered smoothies, bike maps and free bike brake inspections at 800 N. Charles St. downtown.

And in Towson, Doo Consulting, which specializes in sustainable design, will be predicting the future of the environment in a "parklet" at Pennsylvania and York roads.

UPDATE: PARK(ing) Day really is spreading in Maryland!  Staff and volunteers with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy plan to install an "urban wetland," complete with tiny fish pond, in a parking space in front of Easton's town hall.

For more info and other sites around Maryland, go here.

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