September 18, 2013On-Street Parking Spaces Around Nashville to Become Mini-Parks for a Day
On Friday, September 20, thirty metered spaces in Downtown Nashville, Green Hills, and the Gulch will become pedestrian-friendly public spaces for a day, as the nation observes “PARK(ing) Day,” an annual worldwide event aimed at challenging the public to rethink how our streets are used.
Local designers, architects, planners and preservationists will fill those spaces with welcoming, human-scaled art and structure, joining similar celebrations in over 35 countries worldwide. UT collegiate partner, the Nashville Civic Design Center is coordinating the event locally, in cooperation with Metro Public Works.
“It’s a really effective way of getting people to think about what their streets could be,” says Gary Gaston, NCDC design director and UT alumnus. “Making even one space into a mini-park, a temporary art gallery, or just a place for walkers to sit down and rest demonstrates that there’s room on the streetscape for more than just traffic, parking, and sidewalks.”
Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure. “In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution,” says Rebar’s Matthew Passmore. “The strategies that generated these conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant urban human habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the metropolitan landscape.”
Local participants, firms home to many alumni, so far include: