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Jesse White

Making parking spaces into vibrant places

September 8, 2011

Jeremy Madsen, Executive Director, jmadsen@greenbelt.org, (415) 543-6771
Jennifer Gennari, Communications Director, jgennari@greenbelt.org, (415) 543-6771 ext. 318
Sara Barz, Communications Associate, sbarz@greenbelt.org, (415) 543-6771 ext. 307

Making Parking Spaces into Vibrant Places onSeptember 16

Greenbelt Alliance showcases good use of land on PARK(ing) Day;
parking spots re-imagined from San Jose to Walnut Creek to Santa Rosa

San Francisco—On Friday, September 16, Greenbelt Alliance is observing PARK(ing) Day to encourage Bay Area cities to plan with people in mind. The region’s limited urban land should be used to create economically thriving neighborhoods where people walk, bike, and gather in attractive shared spaces.

“Turning ordinary parking spaces into parks for a day is a test drive for creating more permanent people-friendly places,” says Jeremy Madsen, Executive Director of Greenbelt Alliance. “It’s an economic win. By prioritizing wide, tree-lined sidewalks, bike lanes, and easily accessible transit stops, cities will draw people to live, work and shop in their downtowns.”

Too often, cities and towns are required to or reflexively build excessive parking,squandering land that could be adapted for people-friendly uses. Parking spaces can be repurposed or managed according to market demand. When priced right, parking can bring revenue to a city and attract more strolling customers to shops. Other cities have successfully transformed neighborhoods into thriving places—notably, Old Pasadena in Southern California, Columbia Heights in Washington, D.C., and downtown Redwood City.

Founded in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used. For the first time, Greenbelt Alliance is participating in four cities to highlight the need for smart planning of the Bay Area’s limited urban land.

Wonder how many ways we could use one parking spot? Watch this video to see diverse ways to use our land:

Visit Greenbelt Alliance PARK(ing) Day celebrations around the region or call to interview:

Where: 33 San Fernando Street, San Jose
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16
Who: Greenbelt Alliance; fifteen other organizations nearby; bike party follows
Contact: Michele Beasley, Senior Field Representative, 408-710-8623

Where: 531 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16
Who: Greenbelt Alliance; Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition and The Share Exchange nearby
Contact: Amanda Bornstein, Field Representative, 510-932-2727

Where: 1601 Locust Street, Walnut Creek
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16
Who: Greenbelt Alliance; Generation Green and Save Mount Diablo nearby
Contact: Sara Barz, Communications Associate, 413-222-0738

Where: 33 Grand Avenue, Oakland
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16
Who: Greenbelt Alliance; Walk Oakland, Bike Oakland and others
Contact: Marla Wilson, Sustainable Development Associate, 415-971-9038


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 

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