Park(ing) Day 2020
On September 28, Norris Design participated in PARK(ing) Day in conjunction with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Parking Day is an annual event that encourages the transformation of metered parking spots into parklets.
Park(ing) Day provides an opportunity for design professionals around the world to reconsider ideas around our urban landscape, like whether cars will always be central features of our urban habitat or this year in particular, how we can still gather outside and reflect on positive social change with the current pandemic conditions. For this year’s celebration, we chose to celebrate our ability to get outside and gather at a distance.
The vast majority of outdoor urban space is dedicated to the private vehicle, while only a fraction of that land is allocated to open space for people! (Donald Shoup, Amer. Planning Assn., 2011)
Our theme for 2020 aims to focus on reflection, with opportunities for park visitors to add their own account of how they’ve fared during the pandemic. Using the hashtag #Chalkitupto2020, we attempt to turn the easily negative conversation into something that helps us all connect. Instead of using parking spaces on the street outside our office, we constructed our park installation in our parking lot, to allow additional room for social distancing. Additionally, we included directional arrows for visitors to help direct traffic.
Chalkboards placed strategically (6-feet apart) throughout the parking lot allow visitors to add their own experience to the installation as they move through the opportunity to reflect. Movement was a key thematic element we incorporated, helping to ensure social distance, but also offering an additional layer of reflection to consider. As divided as this time may seem, we’re all experiencing it concurrently and moving through the experience in a collected way.
As landscape architects and urban planners, we have a unique ability to impact our surroundings. Park(ing) Day is an important reminder of why we pursued this profession — we are working to create memorable spaces for people to be and make a positive impact on the communities we live in. Sometimes a reminder to “park it” is just what we need. Learn more about Park(ing) Day in the manual below.Park(ing) Day History