STAMFORD, Conn. -- Parking spaces around the world temporarily will be transformed into lively and people-friendly public spaces on Friday, Sept. 18, and this year Stamford will be joining in the fun.
PARK(ing) Day began in 2005 when a San Francisco art and design studio called Rebar turned a metered parking space into a parklet for two hours, which was the meter’s time limit, in an experiment to redesign public space, said Sandra Goldstein is president of the Downtown Special Services District in Stamford.
The event has grown into a global initiative to activate public space and parklets pop up on the third Friday in September annually.
Among the ways parklets have been designed around the world include an art gallery, a recycling station, a meditation room, a chess tournament, a wedding, a dance party and an urban garden, according to a press release.
Last year, a group of Stamford residents activated one parking space in front of Lorca, an independently owned coffee shop downtown, with seating, tables, potted plants, board games and free treats donated by Lorca. This year, the Stamford Downtown Special Services District and the City of Stamford are partnering with volunteers from People Friendly Stamford and eleven downtown businesses and organizations to host PARK(ing) Day.
The goals of the PARK(ing) Day event in Stamford are to increase public space in the downtown, provide high quality amenities such as seating and landscaping to the streetscape, and enhance the livability of the downtown, according to a press release. This event also seeks to inspire the public to think about how urban space is used since streets comprise roughly 25 percent of the downtown land area, according to a press release.
Eleven locations are participating as parklets: Lorca, Downtown Golf, The Ferguson Library, The Palace, Stamford Street Smart Initiative, Harmony Yoga, The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling & Education, Tacos Guadalajara, UFC Gym, Rippowam Labs and Franklin Street Works.
Stamford Downtown and the city will evaluate the program’s impact on the potential to provide additional public space and amenities to the streetscape and improve the livability of downtown.
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