It’s been four years since Louisville last experienced PARK(ing) Day, but this year Broken Sidewalk and the Urban Design Studio are working with community leaders to bring seven miniature parks–parklets–to the core of our city. We have received great parklet designs for each site (we’ll give you a sneak peek next week) and we’ll be reclaiming public space on Friday, September 16.
As we count down the final two weeks until PARK(ing) Day, we’re asking for your help spreading the word about these tiny parks that will transform Downtown! Donate to the effort using the PayPal button to the right (in that bright yellow box) and you’ll help turn asphalt green. More information on what we’ll use the donations for after the jump. You can also invite your friends to show up and bring their bike at our Facebook event page.
PARK(ing) Day was born in San Francisco, the vision of a group of architects who envisioned the parking meter as a sort of short-term lease on an approximately 150-square-foot piece of public space. They created the first parklet with a coating of sod, a bench, and a tree. Now, PARK(ing) Day has grown to be a celebrated global event. Last year, 850 parklets were created in 183 cities across the globe! (Check out a map of planned parks this year.) From the official PARK(ing) Day site:
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!
Broken Sidewalk and the Urban Design Studio will be based at a parklet on Third Street in front of the UDS, where we’ll build out a parking spot as an extension of an exhibition on public space launching that Friday called Occupied: The Space Between Buildings.
The other six parklets will bear the individuality of the community who has helped design, and will help build and hang out in the parklets. Each parklet will be different, ranging from a zen garden to a folk art sanctuary to an urban farm! Check out the locations of each park (marked bu numbers on the map above):
- Fourth Street near the Palace Theater.
- Market Street at Fourth Street in front of US Bank.
- West Main Street in front of the Kentucky Museum of Arts & Craft.
- East Market Street at the Green Building.
- East Main Street in front of Slugger Field.
- Market Street at First Street at the Bike Depot.
- Third Street in front of the Urban Design Studio.
PARK(ing) Day this year is going to be a true community event and we’re going to need the community’s help to make it really special! Please consider donating to our parklet fund using the PayPal button on the sidebar or right here:
Every little bit helps, and keeps on helping! We’re committed to giving back our excess gardening material to Brightside where it will be used again to permanently beautify Louisville. We’ll also be purchasing as much material as possible from second-hand stores and donating it back at the end of the day.
You can also volunteer to help set up and break down each park, plus we’ll need some hard-working individuals to hang out in these lush oases in the street. It’s a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it! If you’d like to volunteer for a shift or the full day, please get in touch with us for more details!
Each of the seven parklets will be linked via a five mile bike loop to encourage everyone to get out and see all the parklets. At a slow pace, the loop will take about half an hour, but, hey, you’ll burn about 250 calories on your way! Each parklet will feature bike parking, so you’ll be able to lock up your bike while you lounge in Louisville’s latest example of pop-up urbanism.
We’ll be rolling out all the PARK(ing) Day details over the next two weeks, including parklet designs, partnering sponsors, and the process of making this event a reality. In the meantime, check out a few examples of parklets from across the country below. We can’t wait to see you at the park!