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Park(ing) day

Here’s a cheeky idea I like. The art collective REBAR started Park(ing) day a couple of years back in San Francisco, and other people have picked up on it since, including this group in Manchester – on September 21st, people are encouraged to reclaim a bit of urban space by parking something other than a car –  maybe roll out some turf, spread some sand and put down deckchairs.

In their own words:

“More than 70% of most cities’ outdoor space is dedicated to the private vehicle while only a fraction of that land is allocated to open space for people. Around the nation, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel, and more pollution. It’s time to rethink the way streets are used!”

Apparently there are some impromptu parks planned for London. I’ll see if I can get along to one.  Check out for more information.


  1. While the rebel in me wants to say that this is awesome, for some reason it does not sit well with the environmentalist in me. I seems to me that by occupying parking spaces with non vehicle stuff, don’t they just increase the amount of time that the people who do drive spend driving around looking for places to park? Thus raising the total emmissions and amount of non renewable fuel used.

    If anything, they should reclaim urban space that is paved over but not useful, like large open paved walk ways that are sparsely used.

  2. Hmm, I suppose you’re right, although I’m willing to take that risk once a year to make the point.
    There are people reclaiming un-used space too, the guerilla gardening people. They rock up in the middle of the night and plant gardens.

  3. I suppose if it is well publicised and enough people participated, it might drive a few cars off the road for a day. Personally I would not find it very appealing to spread a sun-bathing mat and settle down with a good book in our local municipal carpark, but I guess I could bring myself to do it, to make a point.
    Do normal parking restrictions apply? And will traffic wardens enforce them? If so, perhaps I would opt for one of those one-hour road-side slots.

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