In cities around the globe this Friday, artists, activists and citizens will temporarily transform metered car parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called PARK(ing) Day.
According to Dr Jean-Paul Rodrigue from New York's Hofstra University ‘in a motorised city, on average 30% of the surface is devoted to roads while another 20% is required for off-street parking.' The aim of international PARK(ing) Day, first started in 2005 by San Francisco firm/collaborative studio Rebar, is to reimagine the way this space could be used.
A team of Bachelor of Landscape Architecture students from The University of Western Australia (UWA) will be creating a temporary urban ‘park' as a part of Perth's PARK(ing) Day 2013. This year, the City of Perth has allocated two parking bays on William St, near the corner of Hay St, for the event.
UWA's student team is working with local representatives from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). The team is made up of 13 landscape architecture students as well as UWA staff representative Winthrop Professor Tony Blackwell and AILA representative Annalise Delfos of landscape architecture firm EPCAD. The team is led by project manager Michael Alderman, a final year landscape architecture student.
The design of the UWA/AILA parking bay, entitled The Living Room, highlights the perceived need to encourage more people to live in the CBD. The students believe it's essential to increase the number of residents in Perth's city centre to create a safe, vibrant city which is occupied 24 hours a day. At the same time, amenity would need to be improved to provide for the needs of this increased population.
As well as inviting passers-by to sit and experience the city from a new vantage point, the UWA/AILA PARK(ing) bay aims to inspire consideration of this issue.
"The PARK installation has been fully designed and coordinated by the students," says Professor Blackwell. "The project allows an excellent opportunity for students to interact with one another and engage the public with their built concept in a really busy part of the city."
"The Living Room has been developed through an intensive design workshop process over the past two weeks" student project manager Michael Alderman said. "It's been a great challenge and a valuable learning experience to design and implement a built outcome within such a short timeframe."
Team member Rosemary Halsmith, also a final-year landscape architecture student, added "Designing the project has provided us with a great chance to highlight an important urban issue while creating a fun, interactive space."
The UWA/AILA installation, ‘The Living Room', can be viewed for one day only, on Friday 20 September, on the corner of William and Hay St, Perth, from 9am to 5pm.
According to the City of Perth website, the public will be invited to vote for their favourite ‘park'.
The event, originally conceived 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 centres around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution," says Rebar's Matthew Passmore. 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 2012 included 975 ‘PARK' installations in more than 160 cities in 35 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centres across the globe.
Winthrop Professor Tony Blackwell (Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts) (+61 8) 6488 1566 / (+61 4) 19 339 933
Laura Radovan (Marketing and Communications Officer) (+61 8) 6488 1859
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783