What are you doing September 20th? Do you plan on sitting in the street for an extended period of time, or how about establishing your very own public park? Why not do both?! At Park(ing) Day Cleveland you get to do just that. You might be scratching your head and wondering why anyone would want to do that, what is Park(ing) Day, and why don’t you spell things correctly. Those are all fair questions so let me explain:
Park(ing) Day, much like Critical Mass, is an international event held at the same time every year by a group of autonomously organized folks who find very specific issues to be very important. Critical mass rallies around cycling; Park(ing) Day’s rallying cry is access to public space. Park(ing) Day was started in sunny San Francisco in 2005 and has since spread across 100 cities in 35 counties. What is Park(ing) Day exactly though? Here is how it works: teams gather in a metered parking space, they can bring chairs, faux grass, a swing set, books, WHATEVER – just not a car. As long as you feed the meter, you can set up shop and have yourself a park.
So why do we want to do this in the first place? The goal of Park(ing) Day is to call attention to the important role that public space, and public parks play in the health and vitality of a city. Parks are gathering places, places to play, to relax, to exercise and to build community. Often times, cars and by extension parking spaces take priority to public health and the public’s right to access shared spaces. It is the goal of Park(ing) Day to start a conversation around public space and public parks. Public space and park access is a serious issue, but Park(ing) Day tries to make a very complicated issue approachable, enjoyable, and most importantly fun to engage with and learn about.
So if you are interested, please join us! Sign up, and meet us at the corner of Prospect and East 4th on September 20th around 11 AM. We will be hanging out, doing yoga, making zines, reading books, playing
bocce ball, and reclaiming the streets while raising awareness about how awesome public space really is. We will be having our last organizing meeting Thursday, September 19th, at 5:30 in the offices of LAND Studio. We look forward to seeing you!
–Daniel Brennan Brown