Park(ing) day began in 2005 with a single installation in San Francisco by the art a design studio Rebar . The purpose? To “call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat” (ParkingDay.org). In Rebar’s initial installation, they ‘rented’ (plugged the meter) for two hours, rolled out some sod, a tree, and provided a bench. When the two hours was over they packed up and left.
Since the first year Rebar has created the Park(ing) Day Manual, an open-source guide to help others create their own temporary urban modular service installations. This image and guide, through blogs and social media have attracted world wide participation (In 2011 975 parks were created, in 162 cities, and 35 countries). Using a metered parking space, Park(ing) Day has expanded in recent years beyond providing an urban park to provide other services including “free health clinics, planted temporary urban farms, produced ecology demonstrations, held political seminars, built art installations, opened free bike repair shops and even held a wedding ceremony” (ParkingDay.org). Follow this link to check out some of the Philadelphia installations from 2011.
Check out this map to find your local registered Park(ing) Day participants for 2012. Unfortunately, I do not see a Milwaukee installation on the map, however I am already developing some ideas for 2013 🙂
Have a happy Park(ing) Day!