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PARK(ing) Day
Jeremy Faludi, 21 Sep 06

You may remember the "PARK(ing)" art installation / activist stunt made by San Francisco's Rebar group. (We mentioned it and a similar project in passing last spring.) They took two adjacent parking spaces and set down sod, a tree, and a park bench to make a little park out of it and paid the meter for the two-hour parking limit, then removed it all as quickly as they had appeared. It's a brilliant idea, making random passersby reconsider their assumptions about the value of the vast quantities of land we devote to automobiles, and what else we might do with that space. Apparently it struck a nerve, because the meme raced across the web like wildfire and imitations have occurred in several cities around the world.

So now they are declaring a PARK(ing) Day--today, September 21--where lots of people will do this all at once. If you live in Amsterdam, Sao Paolo, London, Edinburgh, or any of the largest cities in the US, see if you can find that evanescent park near you. Or better, create your own! There are over a dozen different groups of people creating them in San Francisco, and Rebar will no doubt post pictures of their favorites on their website after the event. Maybe someone will videotape themselves getting a parking ticket for overstaying their time, just to see what the meter maid's reaction would be. (There's no license plate or VIN number; who can you bill it to?)

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