PARK(ing) Day: streets of potential

Today’s PARK(ing) Day, when single on-street carparks transform to real parks and suddenly become useful to hundreds of people. Have you seen them all?

Aotearoa-NZ’s towns have a lot of street space consecrated to parking the private car.

Of our urban public space, the great majority is streets. Me storing my hatchback in the street is a pretty inefficient use of valuable real estate.

One wee bit of Te Aro. Red is street space dedicated to… me wanting to put my Mazda there

Yet we think it’s somehow the natural order of things, because it’s so hard to imagine our streets any other way.

Cue PARK(ing) Day! Read its fascinating story here.

One of last year’s PARK(ing) Day creations, Cuba St

This year there’s a huge range of things being put in Wellington carparks for you and me to enjoy – for just 12 hours. Volunteers from all over, coordinated by the Wellington Sculpture Trust, are offering such delights as…

  • Flat-viewing – a flat designed to fit in a parking space, available for viewing. Open plan living, unbelievable city views, with a very flexible contract with rent paid hourly, in advance. A response to the current rental housing challenges.
  • The Music Box – a concert space erected for the day for successive performances involving each time one performer and one audience member.
  • Pool Piazza – a mock-up swimming pool and sun-bathing space to encourage more ‘tog space’ in the city and reflection on more public swimming pools as valuable public spaces in the urban environment.
  • Public pooch patting platform – an opportunity for a tickle under the chin or a ruffle of soft ears – smiles and wagging tails all around. Celebrating dogs’ contribution as non-human inhabitants in an urban environment.
  • Detour – enter into a world of traffic cones (a maze? a dead-end? a decoration?)
  • He Whare Taonga Iti – Wellington’s smallest museum experience – for a day. Objects from the Wellington Museum.
  • The Old Shebang – a printing ‘shop’ where you can learn about the printing process of the letterpress and print a greeting card or a poster.
  • #wellingtononyourway – an opportunity for passers-by to draw on perspex screens what you want the city to look like
  • Treeflection – an interactive space to learn about kauri dieback disease and the importance of preserving our native forests. Passers-by, send a postcard to Tane Mahuta
  • Alternative Futures – seeing our alternative futures through an augmented reality experience.Will it be all doom and gloom or green and clean?
  • Where do we dance? – exploring the importance of a third place/public space for people to socialise and connect in. Series of short talks by invited speakers
  • Sound bath – a bathtub in which passers-by can be enveloped in a unique multi-sensory experience (without getting wet!)
  • Glow Cave – an inter-active sculpture that evokes the feeling of climbing into a glow-worm cave
  • Barriers to Nature – enabling others to experience the challenges of those with disabilities through navigating through a garden with a wheelchair or blind-folded with a cane
  • Finding Comfort in the Discomfort of Ambivalence – bringing a little of the South Coast to Cuba Street while conveying a personal experience of motherhood and how public spaces can give a sense of belonging.
  • A bicycle made of mesh – how safe is a bicycle? How does it compare with other modes of transport? How useful is it when made of mesh?
  • Record rabbit – the Rabbit will produce art works inspired by vinyl records and, because they are by nature transportable, can serve as a standard white cube but mobile gallery.
  • Baskets and Books – try your hand and learn about basket making and book-making in a carpark.
  • Who Art Thou – a veneration of iconic Wellington women artists, as PARK(ing) Day this year is also International Women’s Day
  • Is a wish enough? – an opportunity to write a wish (for the city, for the environment, for the use of public space) on a sustainable fabric (leaves)with all the leaves being woven into a banner during the day
  • Foot Traffic – Deirdre Tarrant and Tarrant Dancers fill the space with footsteps
  • Z:L7X – Nick Snowball presents a durational performance work that literally and metaphorically encourages reflection
  • A mini-sculpture park – which of Wellington’s famous public sculptures do you recognise in this mini park?

Check out the PARK(ing) Day 2019 map on the Sculpture Trust’s website.

See you in the street!

Cities need more giant Scrabble!

More about car parking!

Image credits:

  • Banner image – Cityhop
  • Te Aro parking map – Talk Wellington
  • Cuba St installation – Piper, Jarrett, Orr, Bickers (creators), and photo Wellington Sculpture Trust
  • Giant Scrabble (Auckland PARK(ing) Day 2018): Twitter User Natatat06

One comment on “PARK(ing) Day: streets of potential”

  • Roger Tweedy says:

    Agree that the ‘Why free parking …’ video is great. Why has WCC ‘PARKED’ the review of city in the city for past year ?
    Lets start a reasoned debate about use of ‘public space’

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