Last Friday was Park(ing) Day, “an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.” After reaching 162 cities on 6 continents in 2012, the organization this year decided they wanted to put focus on the quality rather than the quantity of our urban public spaces, and we couldn’t agree more.
It was our pleasure to participate in the International Parking Day event in Madison, WI in conjunction with SAA Design Group. We provided the SpiraPave deck & paver supports, top slope correctors and beam holders for the decking they built to elevate the top of the platform to curb height.
SAA Design Group sees this event as an opportunity to re-imagine our urban landscape and highlight the value of our civic spaces.
Recently Architect magazine featured an article called Newest Urbanism where the author, Kim O’Connell, explores the idea of tactical urbanism as it moves into the mainstream. She references the Better Block program of Dallas that installed a bike lane, plants and sidewalk furniture to a moribund city block, as well as the students of Georgia Tech College whose plan formed the basis of the Atlanta BeltLine Street Framework Plan. These interventions are a way to reclaim our urban environment, encourage street life and promote economic investment.
And while each small effort might not make a major change on its own, combined together they will help to push forward an agenda including studies and proposals towards a real change to our cities.