Tiny temporary parks lined Main Street in Downtown Dallas on Friday, in celebration of Park(ing) Day 2018. Each year, on the third Friday of September, parking spaces across the country are temporarily transformed. The spots traditionally reserved for vehicles become interactive installations as downtown employees and residents conduct a short-term takeover.
A call to action
The project was created by Rebar in San Francisco in 2005 with the mission to call attention to the need for more urban open space. The event first took place in downtown Dallas in 2011 with over 35 installations scattered throughout the Main Street District, Deep Ellum, and the Arts District. Since blossoming into a worldwide movement, PARK(ing) Day intends to spark debate around how public space is created, and overall improve the quality of life in urban areas.
PARK(ing) Day intends to spark debate around how public space is created, and overall improve the quality of life in urban areas.
So how does it work? In a partnership with city leaders, parking spaces are able to be reserved for organizations, private companies, or individual people. Teams are formed, and areas are revitalized to become relaxation stations, networking hubs, or simply sources of entertainment.
Dormant slabs of concrete become temporary green spaces of community activism where passerby can live, work, and play. Awards are given, people engage, and after a few hours, it’s all taken down and the parks once again become parking.
Dozens of local companies and organizations had installations this year, despite intermittent rain.
Photos by Michael Samples