ACT is excited to hear Houston, Texas-based members taking part in Park(ing) Day 2016; the annual, open-sourced event where citizens, artists and activists work with municipalities to transform metered parking spaces into temporary, public space “Parks”. This year’s one-day event on Friday, September 16th was spearheaded by Rice Design Alliance and was a collaboration between landscape architecture firms, research institutes, professional organizations, student groups, and other Parking/ Transportation stakeholders. Fourteen on-street, Downtown Houston parking spaces were occupied, three of which were hosted by ACT Red River Chapter members: Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), Texas Tech University and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC). While only a day-long event, Park(ing) Day is a chance to open the conversation about what sort of cities we want to build; those that prioritize building storage for privately owned cars or a city that creates public space for residents, employees and visitors. Vehicle parking is a balancing act and ACT is happy to see our membership working with their communities to push the envelope on rethinking transportation and public space. Thanks to the work of the membership, communities all over the country had a brief glimpse into how one of our city’s most valuable public assets, our streets, could be better utilized.
The PARK(ing) Day project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since then, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.
Thanks to Red River Chapter member, Danny Silva, for contributing to this article.