A day devoted to reclaiming parking spots and using them for people instead of cars - sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, it’s real. Today is our favorite holiday at TransForm: PARK(ing) Day!
PARK(ing) Day is an annual international event where people collaborate to transform metered parking spots into community spaces for a day.
The first-ever PARK(ing) Day was in San Francisco in 2005 with a single metered parking space. The founders of the art and design firm Rebar wanted to challenge existing notions of public urban space and empower people to help redefine space to suit specific community needs. The event has now evolved into a global movement, with hundreds of temporary parks popping up in 35 countries.
Parking it for the day with Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO)
WOBO is Oakland’s homegrown grassroots community group working to improve neighborhood livability, vitality, and sustainability by making walking and biking safe, easy, accessible, and fun. They are working hard to bring more public space to Oakland through their Parklets for People campaign. We often work together on local issues, and they are our neighbors in downtown Oakland!
We worked together to build this fun parklet on 14th Street in downtown Oakland right outside of our offices. We had a visit from some high-profile friends, including Janette Sadik-Khan (former NYCDOT Commissioner) and Matt Nichols (Oakland's first Transportation Policy Director):
In just one metered parking space, we had a checkers tournament and an arts-and-crafts table!
TRANSITion students party in their own parklets in San Jose
Students in the TRANSITion student group created their own parklets for the day!
PARK(ing) Day shows us some of the great potential for using the limited space in our cities. It invites us to imagine better uses for our public space- for people instead of cars.
PARK(ing) Day may only happen once a year, but TransForm’s work to create more affordable homes near transit and prioritize space for people over cars continues all year long. You can make PARK(ing) Day every day by emailing Governor Brown today and asking him to sign AB 744 into law, which would make is possible for developers to build more affordable homes near transit.
If you are a business owner in Oakland, WOBO wants to help you establish a parklet near your business! They have put together a useful list of resources to help you get started.