PARK(ing) Day LA is coming Friday, September 20, 2013.
Discover LA by Metro:
Parking Spaces Turn into Parks for a Day — an Idea Soon a Permanent Reality
September highlighted urban greening in Los Angeles. Downtown Los Angeles PARK(ing) Day 2012 participants created parks in parking spaces. And, showing that art can become a reality in urban life, the LA City Council unanimously adopted plans to make such parklets a permanent part of the cityscape.
Started in San Francisco in 2005, PARK(ing) Day is held on the third Friday in September as a way to demonstrate how to make cities more liveable and pedestrian friendly by literally taking back the streets. 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.”
We enjoyed PARK(ing) Day 2011 and found this year’s parklets creative and educational. Part art installation, part public greening advocacy, part garden design, and wholly unique, PARK(ing) Day is both intriguing and funky.
Sustainability was the theme of the two parklets we visited.
Los Angeles landscape architects SWA created a mini-urban forest on the corner of 7th and Flower Streets in Downtown Los Angeles for PARK(ing) Day 2012. White alder, Western redbud, and Western sycamore comprised the 20 boxed trees donated by Sunny Slope Nursery that shaded a seating area built of recycled materials. The trees will later be planted along Dominguez Creek in Hawthorne by a team of landscape architects from SWA working with students at the Environmental Charter High School.
In the shadow of the Central Library, near Hope and Wilshire, the environmental science and planning firm ESA used succulents and recycled paper to create a striking design highlighting sustainable landscaping. To extend the idea of sustainable landscaping beyond PARK(ing) Day 2012, they gave away California poppy seeds.
While the PARK(ing) Day 2012 installations are only temporary, four parklet projects, two on Spring St. in Downtown Los Angeles, and the others in Highland Park and El Sereno, are soon to be permanent additions to the landscape. Work on the Spring Street Parklets located at 615 and 639 Spring Street should be completed by the end of November.
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. We’re sure that the new permanent parklets will be welcome additions to their neighborhoods — and more reason to walk and take Metro rather than drive.
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