This article comes to us courtesy of 7x7 Magazine.
There is an obscure rule in San Francisco, under the government "open space" act that allows parking spaces to be used for things other than parking. You can pay for two hours at a meter in the middle of the Financial District at high noon, and that parking space is your open space to do what you see fit. You can put $3 in the meter, roll out some sod, sit in a lounge chair and read a book, or hold a lunchtime dance party and you will be perfectly street legal.
The 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. Rebar began to use this law as a way to create an open source model to alter the character of the city. Their hope in creating Parking Day is to cultivate your sense of civic pride, and to consider the role of you-the citizen-in-conceiving, building and improving your local urban environment.
Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world. Last year there were close to 1000 temporary "parks" created in 162 cities on six continents.
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