This past weekend our Senior Design Director and Philly native Madeline Jacobson, had the chance to explore and be inspired by activations across the city of Philadelphia, in celebration of (Park)ing day.
Created in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, turned a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown SF, (Park)ing Day has grown into a global, participatory project. Every year on the third Friday of September, people across the world temporarily repurpose curbside parking spaces and convert them into public parks and social spaces to advocate for safer, greener, and more equitable streets for people.
Check out our round up of Madeline’s favorite (Park)ing Day Philadelphia installations:
📍13th & Chestnut
“Savesies!” JKRP Architects’ 2022 PARKing Day installation is a love letter to the webbed lawn chair. Philadelphians are famous (infamous?) for using the iconic chair for the practice of “savesies” — saving a parking space while their car isn’t in it. They took it a step further. It’s a shame to just use the chair to save the space for a car. Why not keep the chair there, add a few more, and make it a parklet?
02: PARK BY NUMBERS
📍16th & Walnut
We love a good collaborative art project. Philadelphia architecture firm SMP Architects facilitated a community paint-by-numbers with support from Mural Arts and Sherwin Williams. Throughout the day people who stopped by were invited to grab a paint brush and contribute to the larger mural simply by following along with the fool-proof and color coded key.
03: PAWSITIVE VIBES ONLY
📍18th & Walnut
We all know there’s no better way to get people’s attention than with some cute puppies… Corporate Interiors, a leading provider in Workspace Solutions, joined forces with the CRB Group to raise awareness for more green spaces in urban environments. The pop-up also featured a very special puppy adoption opportunity in partnership with Pennsylvania SPCA.
04: CLOUD GEHSHAN
Internationally-recognized environmental graphic design agency, Cloud Geshan, combined their expertise in designing memorable and accessible experiences for the natural and built environment by creating an opportunity for commuters, neighbors, and tourists in Old City to participate in their parking day installation. By moving parts of an image of a parked car, they reimagined the space as a colorful parklet with treats and games for all.
05: YOUTH BUILD PHILLY
Youth Build Philly is all about creating an environment of love and support that empowers young adults to develop skills & find opportunities. This parking day, they transformed a metered parking space into a place where friends and neighbors could make art, read, donate books, and enjoy conversation and coffee with Stomping Grounds, a student led social justice cafe whose slogan is “Building equity in the communities we serve one cup at a time.”
Want to learn more about (Park)ing Day? Check out the official manual created by Rebar: A Primer on User-Generated Urbanism and Temporary Tactics for Improving the Public Realm
Want to talk more about Philly? As we bring more of our work to Philadelphia, we are keeping our fingers on the pulse, finding inspiration and making new connections with key players in the public realm.