One day in late September, the group found a parking space in a particularly gray part of downtown San Francisco, and converted it into a mini park. On what had once been concrete, they rolled out living grass, put up a bench, and placed a potted tree. Then they retreated across the street to observe the results, hoping their urban intervention was not an arrestable offense. Within minutes, a man sat down on the bench, took off his shoes, and began to eat lunch. Another person joined soon after, and the two began having a conversation. That’s when Bela and his collaborators knew they were on to something: “We created an opportunity for social interaction that wasn’t there before.”
Excerpt from How Park(ing) Day Went Global , City Lab 2017
2015 was an expansion year for Rochester PARK(ing) Day with two locations popping up for the day! The first was a creative take on PARK(ing) Day- instead of occupying metered street parking spots, the Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs) of the Landmark Society, took over an entire vacant parking lot and turned it into a pop-up park! NeighborWorks® Rochester also created a pop-up park in the North Winton Village neighborhood. Read more on Rochester Subway.
Building on the success of previous years, 2016, organizers doubled down on the vacant parking lot idea. Working with local artists, we created a pop-up art gallery, complete with submissions from the community, hosted the Inner Loop Country Club, played lawn games, enjoyed a temporary lawn, and more! Local historian Howard Decker gave an enlightening mid-day lecture about the history of Franklin Square and public space in Rochester.
We took 2017 off due to our busy schedules.
PARK(ing) Day is held on the third Friday of September around the world. In Rochester, NY the third Friday of September is also the last day of Rochester Fringe Festival. We decided to take advantage of the large crowds downtown celebrating Fringe and occupy street parking spots adjacent to the festival grounds.
The community is invited to participate this year by submitting an application for one of ten metered parking spots on both the north and south sides of East Main Street. Applications will be available soon.