PARK(ing) Day in Philadelphia, Roots in San Diego

I love PARK(ing) Day because it showcases how quick, cheap, and mobile solutions can vastly improve our quality of life. By reducing vehicle speeds and reclaiming streets as people spaces, these temporary parklets build community and prove that a tiny respites from city life is welcome.

Philadelphia’s PARK(ing) Day includes 52 businesses, designers, and organizations co-opting asphalt for tiny parks. You can see their google map here or download their printable guide: Park(ing) Day Philadelphia 2015_Map.

This strong showing is just another notch in Philly’s belt. There is a history of activating underutilized spaces with community initiatives as seen through the work of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, Grounded in Philly, the Mural Arts Program, and the Philadelphia Orchard Project. If you know of any more organizations, please comment below!

Here are a few parklets seen on my morning walk:

IMG_4467 copy
Zipcar has a pumpkin-painting station and real turf

IMG_4466 copy
Spiezle Architectural Group is raising money for United Way
Parklet and photo by @myphillypark and @PhilaParkandRec
Urban forest parklet and photo by @myphillypark and @PhilaParkandRec

Origin Story

According to the official PARK(ing) Day website, the project began in 2005:

Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

But I think the roots of reclaiming infrastructural infill and asphalt goes back much further.

In the early 1970’s, a group of Chicano residents in Logan Heights, San Diego occupied land meant for parking and fought local government to build a public park and mural program. The recently built highway already splintered their community–one of the largest Mexican-American communities on the West Coast–and they were looking for ways to reclaim land for their neighborhood. Today Chicano People’s Park stands as a symbol of community strength and boasts some of the best Chicano murals outside of Mexico City. Read more here. 

ChicanoParkOld_web
chicpark3

canon-chicano-park-079

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “PARK(ing) Day in Philadelphia, Roots in San Diego

  1. Can I just say what a relief to uncover someone that genuinely understands what they are talking about on the web. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people should look at this and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular because you most certainly have the gift.

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s