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Park(ing) Day calls for more open space

September 26, 2012|By Joyce Rudolph
  • Alexander Baghdasarian, left, and Gabriel Yeganyan are two of the designers who worked on the PARK(ing) Day event on Brand Boulevard on Friday.
Alexander Baghdasarian, left, and Gabriel Yeganyan… (Photo courtesy…)

Glendale joined the ranks of cities around the world on Friday in the annual Park(ing) Day, where residents, artists and activists collaborated to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into temporary public places for just one day.

Several volunteers created an interactive setting spanning four parking spaces in front of the Glendale Marketplace at 106 S. Brand Blvd., across the street from the Americana at Brand.

This year's theme was imagining a day without automobiles, said Cynthia Momdjian, a La Crescenta resident and public relations director for arCOLLAB, a group of 16 members who helped organize Park(ing) Day Glendale.

“As Los Angelenos, we're very dependent on our vehicles and unfortunately this sometimes limits our appreciation for greener spaces around town,” she said. “We came up with the hashtag, #adaywithout, for this reason and wanted to encourage passersby/supporters of our movement to promote this idea with items that they could live a day without.”

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The Glendale installment consisted of seven bins (mimicking car wheels) marked with vehicle-themed issues that commuters are confronted with (Parking, Roadkill, Pollution, Accidents, Payments, Fuel, and most notorious, Traffic). Visitors picked up bean bags and tossed them into the bins that most resonated with them.

“Additionally, with this year's instillation, we aimed to reinterpret the conventional notion of a junkyard as an urban playground, facilitating social interaction with the carnival-style/bin game we designed,” she said.

The idea for the project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Park(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world on the third Friday in September.

The mission of Park(ing) Day, organizers say, is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat.

Park(ing) Day has accomplished the installations of 800 parks in more than 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents during past events. For more information, visit www.parkingday.org.


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