Park(ing) Day 2011 Call for Ideas. (Courtesy Park(ing) Day)
Park(ing) Day 2011 Call for Ideas. (Courtesy Park(ing) Day)
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Park(ing) Day 2011 Call for Ideas. (Courtesy Park(ing) Day)
Park(ing) Day 2011 Call for Ideas. (Courtesy Park(ing) Day)

We need your help! Broken Sidewalk is teaming up with the Urban Design Studio to launch Park(ing) Day 2011 in Louisville in a big way. Each year, Park(ing) Day transforms parallel parking spots in cities across the globe into temporary parks (called “parklets”) for use by pedestrians. Last year, 850 parklets were created in 183 cities in 30 countries. The event is meant to draw attention to public space in our urban environment and this year, we’ll be rolling out the sod on Friday, September 16.

Draft of proposed Park(ing) Day spaces and bike loop. (Broken Sidewalk, Google)
Draft of proposed Park(ing) Day spaces and bike loop. (Broken Sidewalk, Google)

Louisville’s first and only Park(ing) Day spot was located on Jefferson Street in 2007, and now it’s time to bring parklets back to the River City. The event began in 2005, the idea of San Francisco-based design firm Rebar, and has grown rapidly ever since. According to Park(ing) Day:

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!

This year, we’re planning for seven Park(ing) Day parklets connected by a bike loop in the core of Louisville. We need your help to design and manage some of these spots during the day. If you would like to design a parklet, sketch out a rectangle measuring approx. 7 feet by 20 feet (or in some cases, a two-spotter at 7 feet by 40 feet) and draw a plan of what you’d like to see in your parklet. Please include a paragraph describing your ideas as well.

Scan, snap a photo, or otherwise send in your design to bs@brokensidewalk.com. We’ll be accepting designs through Wednesday at midnight. All entries will be reviewed based on their creativity and design and we’ll select as many as we can. (Remember these parklets have to be cheap and buildable!) Need ideas for your design? Think outside the box. A traditional parklet consists of sod, plants, trees, or benches, but we have seen some crazy examples from around country including using old tires painted like doughnuts for seating and planters. Be creative!

We are also looking for volunteers to help set up, hang out in, and tear down the parklets ranging roughly from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It’s an easy job (hanging out in a lush green parklet, chatting with inquisitive passers-by, and generally having a good time), but somebody’s got to do it. You can sign up for the entire day or for a shift of a few hours. In the morning and evening, we’ll need several people to help set up the parklets (including placing plants, laying sod, etc.) and break them down. We’ll be donating our excess garden materials to Brightside at the end of the day for use beautifying Downtown.

Send us an email if you’re interested in volunteering!

We’ll have more info about everything we have planned soon, but in the mean time, send in your ideas as soon as possible!

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Branden Klayko

8 COMMENTS

  1. So cool! Are you guys coordinating with Metro Government? If I recall correctly, the city put the kibosh on it at the last minute last year.

  2. Possess zero creativity but will be happy to feed the meter for a few hours. Any fundraising tied to this?

  3. Hey Cliff, We’ll be announcing more details soon, including some fundraising, but first we need to get a head count of who is interested in helping out. Glad to hear you can hang out for a while!

  4. In my opinion, it would make a more lasting impact if you spent the money to buy up land for small parks/nature preserves. You might consider Guerrilla Gardening–an interesting activity…and would also involve either a small or large number of people to help to positively change our community.

  5. It says that you will be accepting proposals until Wednesday… Is that the Wednesday before the event (9/14)?

  6. Hi Andy, unfortunately, the deadline has already passed for submitting a design. If you’re still interested in being involved, we’re still looking for volunteers to hang out in the parklets during the day and to help set up and break down the parklets.

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