Celebrate PARK(ing) Day Tomorrow by Reclaiming the Curb

Dozens of installations are planned all over the Bay Area tomorrow to mark PARK(ing) Day, the annual worldwide event to reclaim metered curbside parking spaces normally used by cars and transform them into temporary “PARKS” for people. 

Last year, from Iran to Venezuela to South Korea, people in more than 180 cities across the globe created more than 800 temporary “PARKS” as part of the annual celebration that was invented in San Francisco in 2005 by the renowned art and design collective, Rebar.

“Urban inhabitants worldwide recognize the need for new approaches to making cities,” said Rebar principal Matthew Passmore. “The planning strategies that have led to traffic congestion, pollution and poor health in cities everywhere do not reflect contemporary values, nor are they sustainable. PARK(ing) Day raises these issues and demonstrates that even temporary projects can improve the character and quality of the city.”

In San Francisco, the PARK(ing) Day movement inspired the city’s popular parklets, which have also caught on in other cities such as New York, where they’re known was “pop-up cafes.”

The Streetfilm by John Hamilton, above, is from PARK(ing) Day 2009, and one of my favorites.

Some of tomorrow’s planned installations in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area have been mapped out on the PARK(ing Day) website. Here are a few highlights:

  • Greenbelt Alliance celebrates (PARK)ing Day with “pop-up park clusters” in four cities: San Jose, Santa Rosa, Walnut Creek and Oakland.
  • In Oakland, Walk Oakland/Bike Oakland, along with citizens, businesses, and environmental advocates will offer “an alternative vision of public spaces – and have some fun along the way!” Click here for more info, and here for a map of installations in Oakland.
  • SPUR will set up a temporary park in front of the Urban Center on Mission Street. They’re encouraging folks to stop by and “enjoy a recipe from one of La Cocina’s cooks and experience El Puesto, an ongoing, traveling food installation by artists Sergio De La Torre and Chris Treggiari.”
  • The Wigg Party is planning to transform up to four parking spaces on Fell Street. Check out their Facebook page for updates.

How do you plan on celebrating PARK(ing) Day tomorrow? Please let us know about your events in the comments section, and don’t forget to send us your photos! There are a few ways to do that: tips@sf.streetsblog.org, send us a tweet or add them to our Flickr pool.

See you in the streets tomorrow!