In the last couple of months I have spent a lot of time around the West End area in Brisbane as it is one of the places I am doing some work at the moment. This morning I discovered that a few spaces in West End and the nearby South Bank region will be among many areas in Brisbane taking part in PARK(ing) Day, which occurs tomorrow, Sept 19th.
I hadn’t heard of PARK(ing) Day before. It originated in San Francisco in 2005, and has become “a one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks”.
The Brisbane arm of the event has its own blogspot website, where you can see all the locations around Brisbane where people will be trying to transform a car parking space into park for a day. The site states that Brisbane is one of the biggest participators in the event worldwide, which may have something to do with the impact of current and future traffic planning proposals in inner city areas. There are certainly heaps of supporters listed, including some University departments in the areas of planning and creative arts (although notably the Brisbane City Council has not officially endorsed it).
According to the website, the event is
based on the idea that feeding a parking meter is like “renting” a space. But instead of parking car, why not park something better! Every September, people around the world are now transforming ‘car parks’ to ‘people parks’. These PARKs are fun and visual symbols of communities wanting to improve urban quality.
The Day aims to
1) Call attention to the importance of urban public spaces
2) Rethink the way we use our streets
3) Create diverse conversations about how we make sustainable cities.