Putting the Park Back Into Car Park

Michael Green looks at PARKing Day – a small movement devoted to converting carparking spaces into small parks.

Image of Melbourne's effort courtesy Michael Green

Image of Melbourne's effort courtesy Michael Green

Today is PARKing Day, where across the world devoted park enthusiasts wake before dawn and go about taking the ‘car’ out of ‘carpark’ by transforming a carpark space into a mini-park. PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good. It was born in San Francisco in 2005 and has since grown into a global urban beautification movement. Its manifesto is subtitled, ‘User-generated urbanism and temporary tactics for improving the public realm’.

In Melbourne, PARKing Day volunteers were out at 7am working on a metered parking space on Little Lonsdale, between Russell and Exhibition (closer to Exhibition). The little plot was decked out with chairs, pot plants, a mini picket fence, Scrabble, a beach brolly, hula hoops, picnic lunch and nice company. The space was metered until lunchtime.

Portrait of Michael Green

Michael Green is a journalist in Melbourne. He has written about environmental and social issues for the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Nature, Nautilus, Smith Journal, Right Now and Overland, among others. He is the coordinator of Behind the Wire, and has been working on a book of people’s stories from detention called They Cannot Take the Sky, which will be published in March 2017 by Allen & Unwin. He is also producing an exhibition at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum based on the stories in the book, which will open on 17 March 2017.

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