PARK(ing) Day was celebrated around the nation Friday, with people going beyond creating temporary parks by bringing communities together in new ways. Launched in 2005, PARK(ing) Day (http://parkingday.org/) was started in San Francisco when an art studio dedicated to environmental projects set up a park in a metered space. Since then, the event has spread, with temporary parks popping up in 162 cities and 35 countries over the past seven years. The third Saturday in September is designated as the day for creating temporary community-oriented public space or green space.
This year, in the U.S., there were 586 parklets. The top five states with the highest parks were California (195 parks), Pennsylvania (37 parks), Maryland (34 parks), Kentucky (31 parks) and New York (29 parks).
Throughout the world, advocates for parks and public space created fun and innovative parklets. In Cincinnati, Ohio, artists replaced cars with stages and galleries. People engaged in a series of shows illustrating the benefits of serendipitous art in public places. Dancers from the Cincinnati Ballet dancers practiced at the barre. Pones, Inc., an innovative artists collaborative, basked at a beach dance party with sand, swimsuits and music, Circus Mojo featured tricks in their center ring – and passersby tried to hula or toss a ring.
In Amsterdam, there were miniature parks to make a green corridor between two city parks, demonstrating the potential for improvement of the urban infrastructure. The Parks and Recreation in Dallas, Texas, rolled out a sod soccer field onto a Main Street parking spot.
“Lighter than Air” – an installation of colorful tall-tube balloons, inflatable balls, and a “flying bicycle” was put up in San Francisco on Valencia and 17th. Hosted by INTERSTICE Architects and PUBLIC, the organizations said riding a bicycle is the closest many people will feel to flying so wanted a whimsical bicycle-themed space where everyone could sit, eat, and play.
SWA Group put up parklets where they had offices in the U.S. In Houston, people played cards. In San Francisco, there was a bocce ball court and a grassland installation.
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