Carbon Architects will be hosting the second annual PARK(ing) Day in Ogden on September 19th and 20th. PARK(ing) Day is an international event held on the third Friday in September. In cities around the globe, artists, activists and citizens will temporarily transform metered 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-based art and design studio, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure. “In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution,” says Rebar’s Matthew Passmore. “The planning strategies that generated these conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant human habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the urban landscape.”
Ogden experienced its first PARK(ing) Day last September when Carbon Architects partnered with Io Landscape Architecture to put in a tiny park on 25th Street, complete with grass and a goldfish pond. When Carbon Architects brought the first PARK(ing) Day installation to Ogden last September, the staff planning the Harvest Moon Celebration asked that it be maintained through the festival. This year, Ogden’s PARK(ing) Day will take place on both the Friday and the Saturday, thus being a part of the international movement and the Harvest Moon festivities. Ogden City has been gracious enough to allow local architecture firm, Carbon Architects, to keep the installation up for two full days, rather than the two hours a parking space on 25th Street would typically allow.
This year Carbon Architects has partnered with Great American Woodworks to produce a pop-up park titled “Cardscaping, Not Hardscaping.” The cardboard design examines the detrimental effects that pavement has on our local water supply. In the built environment, the hardscape consists of the inanimate elements of landscaping such as streets and sidewalks. In areas with extensive pavement, water doesn’t soak naturally into the earth. Instead, the street run off is directed into storm sewers, which overflow during thunderstorms and discharge pollutants and biological contaminants into our waterways; poisoning fish, wildlife, and us.
The community is invited to use the park space for a coffee break, lunch destination, or a simple moment to stop and ponder. Although the project will be temporary, Carbon Architects hopes their PARK(ing) Day installation inspires you to participate in the civic processes that permanently alter your urban landscape. Let’s keep creating places for people, not cars.
*photo from 2013 PARK(ing) Day installation. Carbon Architects will be unveiling their new design Friday morning, September 19th.