Dublin Park(ing) Day
Ciaran Walsh & Michael McDermott
The best ideas are often the simplest. The ones where you re-appropriate, re-imagine and work within the confines of time and space. And they don’t fit that bill in a finer way than PARK(ing) Day. Originating in San Francisco in 2005 as an open-source project, PARK(ing) Day was created by Rebar, a San Francisco based art and design studio.
“The planning strategies that have led to traffic congestion, pollution and poor health in cities everywhere do not reflect contemporary values, nor are they sustainable” according to Rebar’s Matthew Passmore.
Covering 975 spaces, 162 cities and 35 countries in 2011, Dublin made its debut last September bringing 15 participants including ourselves into the fold. “We decided to go for it a month before, we picked spaces, worked with Dublin City Council and managed to rank 18th overall in terms of participation” says Stephanie Fy, one of the co-organisers.
Akin to the equally embracive Street Feast initiative, the growing realisation is that the streets are ours to reclaim and best attained with a focus. PARK(ing) Day does that in a uniquely charming way, inviting passers-by into a myriad of initiatives and conversations about our city and ourselves.
And so to Year Two. Stephanie is hoping to grow Park(ing) Day Dublin to 25 participants. However, we’re using this platform today to ask why can’t we have 100? We want club and festival promoters, architects, theatre and dance companies, community groups, kindergartens and nursing homes to rightfully take their PARK(ing) Day space. It sure beats the sight of a car.