Real Estate

They Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot. Reverse That, You Get PARK(ing) Day Dallas.

Not so long ago we looked at Noah Jeppson's plan to map out the downtown tunnels -- which he did get funded, with $30 to spare. But Jeppson, a designer and downtown denizen, has found yet another way to brighten up downtown -- by turning 20 metered parking parking spaces along Main Street into short-term "PARK" installations, per a note he sent to Unfair Park that follows in full.

And so he has proclaimed September 16 PARK(ing) Day Dallas, which is all about "reclaiming the public streets and turning them into public spaces," says the Friend of Unfair Park inspired by those Better Block-heads.

Park(ing) Day, incidentally, is actually a national event that dates back to 2005. A little history:

PARK(ing) Day is an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into "PARK(ing)" spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.
Most of the info you need about the Dallas event follows; there's also a Facebook page, but of course. But here you'll find a newly opened registration page, where Jeppson and co-conspirator James Warton are asking teams and folks flying solo to sign on, gratis, in order to "transform a space." Me, I'm thinking about hiring a group of renegade city workers to mow down parking meters.


Parking spaces in the city to be temporarily reclaimed for people

The amount of public community space in Downtown Dallas will increase dramatically Friday, September 16, 2011 as citizens transform parking spaces into short-term "PARK" installations. More than 20 metered parking spaces along Main Street will be temporarily transformed, allowing downtown employees and residents to socialize in re-envisioned public spaces. Initiated by downtown residents Noah Jeppson and James Warton and built on the impetus of Team Better Block, the project is part of an effort to make Downtown a more lively, active and community-oriented place to live, work and play.

"It's about reclaiming the public streets and turning them into public spaces," Noah Jeppson said.

PARK(ing) Day Dallas will promote the use of temporary green space as a form of community activism. Working with the City of Dallas and Downtown Dallas, Inc., a series of parking spaces spanning three blocks will be reserved for participants. Organizations, private companies and individuals will form teams to transform spaces into areas for relaxing, networking and various forms of entertainment. After a few hours installations will come down and the space will revert back to metered parking. Teams will be encouraged to use sustainable construction materials and partner with local charities to extend the impact beyond the event.

"We're striving to create an entertaining event that brings together the surrounding neighborhoods while promoting collaboration between community-oriented organizations," James Warton said.

Interested groups and organizations will need to conceptualize and plan their own PARK(ing) installation. Registration information and guidelines will be available at on August 15; there is no charge for participation. PARK(ing) Day is an internationally recognized event celebrated annually with the mission 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.

Started in San Francisco in 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2010 included more than 850 "PARK" installations in more than 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents.

Supporters and Contributors Include: Architecture for Humanity, _bcWorkshop, The Bridge, City Design Studio, City of Dallas, Dallas Fort Worth Urban, Deep Dallas, Dirt Design Studio, Downtown Dallas, Inc., Downtown Residents Council, DSGN Associates, Plush, Ravenna's Urban Italian Restaurant, Team Better Block Original concept by Rebar.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky