PARK(ing) Day Knoxville to be held Friday, Sept. 20

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

PARK(ing) Day Knoxville to be held Friday, Sept. 20

Posted: 09/06/2019
(PARK)ing DayPARK(ing) Day Knoxville 2019 will be held Friday, September 20, 2019 11am-5pm.

PARK(ing) Day asks people to imagine what is possible when pedestrians occupy the precious space in our cities and towns that we willingly give to cars. 

PARK(ing) Day is an annual event that encourages community members, students, and designers to transform metered parking spaces into temporary parklets. Free and open to the public, the event will stretch across three blocks of Gay Street, transforming the street into a social hub of public engagement. 

PARK(ing) Day was started in 2005 in San Francisco by the design group Rebar. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat. Paying the meter for just two hours, Rebar created a park amongst a sea of parking spaces showing the value of land that had been dedicated solely to parking. One of the founders of the event, John Bela, said “I like to think of Park(ing) Day installations as the gateway drug for urban transformation.”

“So many people look at parking spaces as belonging to cars. They don’t think about parking spaces as a place for people. Our taxes help to fund them and you’re effectively renting the space when you feed a meter. PARK(ing) Day asks people to consider how public space is allocated and encourages them to reimagine what is possible in the limited area of a parking space.” -Justin Hare, organizer.

Having been introduced to PARK(ing) Day during architecture school, Alli Mongomery, Justin Hare and Trey McMillian wanted to bring it to the attention of the Knoxville community. “PARK(ing) Day in Knoxville isn’t new. It has been flying under the radar for a number of years. We want to provide people with a framework and the resources to participate.” -Justin Hare With support from the City of Knoxville, the  Community Design Center and the local AIA Chapter (American Institute of Architects) the trio organized more than 30 participants for the first officially organized PARK(ing) Day last year. 

PARK(ing) Day Knoxville 2019 is expected to have over 40 converted PARK(ing) spaces. The creativity in repurposing these parking spaces into public spaces is endless. Examples from previous PARK(ing) Days: a dog park, a photobooth, a putt-putt course, a yoga park, ping pong tables, and many more. See the PARK(ing) Day Knoxville website for examples from previous years. Knoxvillians and visitors alike are invited to come and enjoy the PARK(ing) Day installations. All of the parking spaces for the event have been donated for the day by the City of Knoxville. The event will showcase the imagination and ingenuity of local organizations, students, artists and designers. Free and open to the public, ending with a ceremony presenting awards for sustainability, design, and peoples choice. 

Want to find out more or get involved? PARK(ing) Day Knoxville is seeking participants, sponsors and volunteers. Email parkingdayknox@gmail.com or visit www.parkingdayknox.com