PARK(ing) Day LA is coming Friday, September 20, 2013.
Discover LA by Metro:
Parking Spaces Turn into Parks for a Day
Part art installation, part public greening advocacy, part garden design, and wholly unique, we found PARK(ing) Day to be intriguing and funky.
As advocates for getting out of your car, onto Metro, and out in the streets, we couldn’t resist scoping out the Metro-accessible PARK(ing) Day locations around greater LA.
We’d not heard of PARK(ing) Day until alerted by email just a few days before the event. We’re already planning to start earlier next year because we missed some installations.
So, you’re probably wondering: what is PARK(ing) Day?
As the official website describes it, “PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.”
Started in San Francisco in 2005, PARK(ing) Day is held on the third Friday in September, and, in 2011, that was September 16th. In 2010, there were 850 PARK(ing) Day sites in 183 cities in 30 countries spanning six continents. There were more than two dozen sites participating in PARK(ing) Day Los Angeles this year.
Since she is a keen gardener and we are very interested in the greening of public spaces, we hopped on the Metro and saw four PARK(ing) Day sites in Downtown Los Angeles (near Red/Purple Line stations) and two in Long Beach (near Blue Line stations). Unfortunately, we did not get to all the sites in just these two areas before they were removed (most were deconstructed by 2 p.m.). In addition, there were many non-Metro Rail accessible sites, including some bus accessible, that we didn’t consider visiting.
This event might not seem worth the journey to everyone, since the projects are scattered and by nature small (one or two parking spaces). Individually, some PARK(ing) Day parks were not very impressive – we do acknowledge all the effort it takes to do even a simple space – while others were very creative in their use of materials and design. This is definitely a case where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
PARK(ing) Day spaces are meant to be used by those in the local neighborhoods and business districts, to be fun, and to give people a place to pause during the hectic pace of the work week. All the spaces we saw were fun, funky, and friendly.
Although some of the parks were very simple and others whimsical, seeing the creativity put forth to fashion an urban oasis for just four to six hours really makes one think how permanent pocket parks could improve urban living (even suburban living). A fabulous outcome of PARK(ing) Day is that in some areas, these temporary installations have eventually led to permanent pocket parks.
The idea of pop-up parks across our urban area is wonderful. We love the idea behind PARK(ing) Day, and we look forward to viewing these creative installations next year.
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