September 14, 2010
Greenbelt Alliance to participate in PARK(ing) Day 2010
Parking spaces around the globe temporarily reclaimed for people
San Jose– On Friday, September 17, in cities around the globe, artists, activists and citizens will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called “PARK(ing) Day.”
Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure. “In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution,” says Rebar’s Matthew Passmore. “The strategies that generated these conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant human habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the urban landscape.”
Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2009 included more than 700 “PARK” installations in more than 140 cities in 21 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe, including the first-ever PARK installation in Tehran, Iran.
Locally, Greenbelt Alliance has been actively encouraging other groups to participate this year and will be joined by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, the San Jose Parks Foundation, Downtown Neighborhood Leadership Forum, the Shasta Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association and several others in creating their own PARK(ing) Spaces throughout Downtown San Jose from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, September 17. “When there are more parking spaces for cars than parks for people, we need to reconsider how cities grow and develop; PARK(ing) Day allows us to demonstrate that need,” says Michele Beasley of Greenbelt Alliance.
The Greenbelt Alliance parking spot is in front of Gordon Biersch Restaurant Brewery on 33 E. San Fernando St. San Jose’s PARK(ing) Day event is directly followed by San Jose Bike Party and the kick-off night for the SubZero Green Prix weekend.
PARK(ing) Day is a grassroots, “open-source” invention built by independent groups around the globe who adapt the project to champion creative, social or political causes that are relevant to their local urban conditions. For more information, visit the PARK(ing) Day website.
For 50 years, Greenbelt Alliance has been the San Francisco Bay Area’s advocate for open spaces and vibrant places, with offices in San Francisco, San Jose, Walnut Creek, San Rafael, and Santa Rosa. www.greenbelt.org