On Friday, September 19, 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.”
“In conjunction with (PARK)ing Day, we thought it would be a great idea to announce that the Museum Plaza, which was covered with beautiful green turf for our World Cup exhibit this summer, has been transformed into a public park space”, said Museum Director, Christine Rupp. “There are but a few green spaces in downtown Coral Gables, and we want the public to embrace the Plaza as a place to utilize for recreation, for a brown bag lunch or for simple relaxation. From January – March, the Plaza is the site of the weekly Lunchtime Jazz in the Gables and we always have a great crowd but we would like to see the Plaza “park” activated every day; that was the intention of the design”. The Plaza park has also been utilized for World Cup watch parties and for soccer clinics throughout the summer.
On (Park)ing Day, the Museum will place tables and umbrellas on the Plaza for lunchtime seating and will offer Frisbees, soccer, acoustic music and food and beverages – everything an urban park should offer.
Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based 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 planning 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 2011 – the last year statistics were collected — included 975 “PARK” installations in more than 160
cities in 35 countries on six continents. Though PARK(ing) Day no longer tracks the number of PARKs each year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe.
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The Museum’s mission is to celebrate, investigate and explore the civic arts of architecture, urban design and planning, sustainable development and preservation – cultural, environmental and architectural. The museum optimizes its mission by cultivating effective partnerships, and providing programming that includes exhibitions, community programs, lectures, tours and special events.
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