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PARKing Day Sept. 16

September 9, 2011 by R.J. Price

On Friday, Sept. 16, Downtown Phoenix will join cities around the globe in transforming metered central city parking spaces into public parks and social spaces, if only temporarily.

PARKINGDAYThe annual PARK(ing) Day event was born in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio. According to a release by organizer Stacey Champion, creator of the sustainability group Rogue Green, “PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure.”

Phoenix PARK(ing) Day will take place in three different Downtown Phoenix locations:

MORNING SESSION (7 – 10 a.m.)

* Parking meters on the east side of 2nd Street between Taylor and Filmore streets to engage ASU Downtown.
* Parking meters on the south side of Washington Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues, across from City Hall.

EVENING SESSION (4 – 7 p.m.)

* Parking meters on 5th Street between Garfield and McKinley streets in the Roosevelt Row arts district.

“I am happy to have been handed the torch by Yuri Artibise, who brought PARK(ing) Day to Phoenix three years ago,” said Champion in the release. “There is a huge need for green public spaces and pocket parks in our city, increased community involvement, a city plan to reduce urban heat island effect and a concerted effort to at least (temporarily) put better use to our many vacant lots throughout the city.”

According to Champion’s release, PARK(ing) Day 2010 included more than 800 “PARK” installations in more than 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe.

There will be teams of community activists, urbanists, workers from Downtown offices, and various organizations.

Get your friends and co-workers together to create your own park on Friday, Sept. 16.