PARK(ing) Day Claim yourself some public space

News from Australia, published on Tuesday 07 September 2010.
PARK(ing) Day is an annual global event that raises awareness of how urban public space is allocated and used.

PARK Day began in 2005 when Rebar transformed a metered parking space into a temporary public park.

Activists involved in the use of public space often encounter resistance from their local council; whether it be for making a garden from their nature strip, or for building impromptu veggie patches in local public gardens.

However, an increasing number of government bodies around the world are beginning to realise the importance of public space, and the public’s right to use it for their own benefit.

The Great Public Spaces project in London aims to redesign London’s urban plan, so that the priority is placed on the city’s use by humans, rather than its use by cars.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People is an international campaign which is raising awareness of how greener public parks can improve mental health, with some research indicating that even a mere half an hour a week spent in a natural environment can be just as effective at treating depression as pharmaceutical drugs.

Another fantastic project is one occurring within Parks Victoria, Australia, where changes are being made to some public parks to install clean, composting toilets, as well as solar panels which not only provide for electricity used within the park, but also generate excess power to be pumped back to the grid.

This year, Object Gallery in Sydney is calling for artists to also get involved in the event, to help show how creative practices can also inform our use of public spaces.

Parking Day this year will occur on Friday September 17th.

Parking Day at Object Gallery

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