PARK(ing) Day 2013

Urban Interventions in San Francisco

ASNC did a photo tour of several pop-up park installations that were installed in downtown San Francisco on September 20th as part of "PARK(ing) Day 2013." PARKing Day is an annual event that has spread to cities across the globe, where participants transform regular metered parking spots into temporary public parks or pop-up installations.

Intended to challenge ideas about public space and inspire innovative new ways to interact with urban landscape, PARKing Day brings a sense of fun and the unexpected to city streets. PARKing Day all started in 2005 when San Francisco design studio ReBar installed a temporary public park in a metered parking space. It has since transformed into an open-source innovation project that gets people thinking about public space and city design. By creating opportunities for citizens, activists, and artists to come together, PARKing Day is an opportunity to visualize our cities differently. 

In San Francisco, for example, the pop-up parks inspired a more formal program, known as "Parklets," which are now sanctioned by the S.F. Planning Department and have become semi-permanent feature of the San Francisco cityscape. Parklets have helped make San Francisco a more livable, sustainable city as they encourage community gathering, outdoor seating, permeable landscaping, and more. Asia Society's own Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative is also addressing these challenges on a more global scale, particularly within the Asia Pacific region. 

ASNC offices are located in downtown San Francisco where we were able to spot several unique PARKing day installations to share with you. The whimsical and creative pop-ups we spotted included a temporary hair-braiding salon, an urban gardening lecture, a goat grazing station, and a mini-playground! Check out the slideshow to see some of these fun PARKing Day ideas.