Once a year in September in cities around the world Park(ing) Day is held to celebrate alternatives to automobile centered urban living. From the parkingday.org website:
"PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. 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. 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.
The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!"
I designed and built an installation in a parking spot in front of the building my office is in. As our public spaces are teetering on irrelevance due to the domination of the automobile for mobility and the television and computer screens for public forums, there is certainly a need to promote urban spaces.
My installation titled, "Piazza", creates a scaled down urban space of the sort common in medieval city centers. Buildings with no gaps between them form blocks which create streets and plazas in the space between them. My installation creates benches as blocks which are free to be moved about as they interlock to a piazza flat surface where your feet rest. This micro urban experience is a great instructional tool for children and adults who may not have lived in Venice or the Old Port.
Together we can promote these urban spaces and raise the quality of our Maine living experience and the health, community and sustainable benefits which go along with these environments.