PARK(ing) Day is an annual, global event where artists, activists and ordinary citizens transform parking spaces into temporary public parks.
Groups across Baton Rouge joined people from around the world to temporarily transform parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called "PARK(ing) Day."
Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco design firm, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure. Rebar’s Matthew Passmore says “PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the urban landscape.”
Baton Rouge’s PARK(ing) Day 2014 was coordinated by the Center for Planning Excellence and was intended to continue the conversations that began with Better Block BR in April 2013, showing that streets are not just for moving cars and can be designed more comprehensively to accommodate a variety of users. FuturEBR, the EBR Parish comprehensive plan, draws attention to the existing minimum parking requirements that have allowed for an excessive supply of unattractive parking in our physical urban landcape and has heightened the need for revising the parking requirements in the EBR Parish Unified Development Code. PARK(ing) Day illustrates the benefits of integrating more green space into our urban environments and demonstrate that parking, when shared between compatible uses, creates spaces that can then be programmed for amenities such as parks, outdoor cafes, bike lanes, planting areas, etc.
“PARK(ing) Day seeks to challenge our residents’ thinking about how we use our public spaces,” says Camille Manning-Broome, SVP of Planning & Implementation at CPEX. “Our lack of resources is no longer a reason not to act. This is a deliberate approach to instigating change and offering local ideas to our planning challenges.”
Sixteen mini-parks or “parklets” were erected for the day in downtown Baton Rouge, Mid City and Perkins Overpass, and LSU on September 19, 2014.
Hosts of the event were: Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), Downtown Development District (DDD), ELS Landscape Architecture Studio, Garden District Nursery, La Carreta, Studio C, Visit Baton Rouge, The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Gourmet Girls, Roux Louisiane, Capital Heights Civic Association and Ingleside United Methodist Church.
Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day has grown to include over 1,000 “PARK” installations in more than 160 cities in 35 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe. A global map of all participating cities are available on the PARK(ing) Day website, at parkingday.org.