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Park(ing) Day 2020

Every year over a 10-hour period 20-30 car parks in Cuba Street are taken over by the Wellington Sculpture Trust for PARK(ing) Day. The event is an opportunity for Wellingtonians to enjoy a huge variety of activities and creative installations placed on spaces usually reserved for cars. Over the six years it has been running, hundreds of individuals and organisations have taken up the challenge to provide a temporary public space one car park at a time in Wellington’s most vibrant precinct.

The idea has been embraced by Wellingtonians as people have come together to create memorable, thought-provoking and entertaining spaces that provide a window into what public spaces can be, albeit in miniature.

This year's PARK(ing) Day event will be held on Friday 6 March from 8.00am to 6pm.

This year the Trust has also provided for a back-up day the following Friday 13 March should the weather on 6 March prove too challenging for participants.

Sue Elliott, Chair of the Wellington Sculpture Trust, which arranges the event with the co-operation and support of the Wellington City Council, said “those who have answered the call in the past have included: dance studios; architectural firms; artists and musicians; environmentalists; designers; secondary school and university students; and landscape architects to name a few.

“The hundreds who have taken over a car park have contributed enormously to this event and, in so doing, contributed to the vibrancy and creativity of our city. This year they will be doing so alongside the New Zealand Festival of the Arts and will we hope add to the vibrancy and buzz which this event creates around the city.

“This year’s PARKs promise to engage, entertain and challenge with a number of topical issues being explored such as the challenge of ocean plastics, reframing our perspectives on the use of a space, exercising a democratic vote for car park usage, and promoting reflection on issues around mental health.

Others flag issues around car usage through artistic investigation of tyres and their disposal, explore the challenges for the elderly and disabled in navigating public spaces, use spaces for school lessons, offer to read short extracts from a story or poem of the passers-by's choice from a wide available selection, provide a chance to sit down and play a game, and provide drawings (by the Rabbit) for passers-by to take away. "

Contributors are asked to use the spaces to:

  • generate debate around how public space is used;
  • encourage public engagement and discussion of current topical issues like climate change, sustainability and improved modal transport options ; and
  • improve the quality of our urban environment through the use of car spaces for creative and entertaining activities.

The challenge of PARK(ing) Day is to think of a novel yet engaging way to occupy a parking space for a day and engage with or entertain the public as they pass by.

“How do we use our public spaces? And how can we use them better? This is the question for the day.

“Go to Cuba Street and see how this year's applicants have responded to the challenge,” Sue said.

Attached is a list of all of this year’s proposals.

Background Information

Information about the event is available on the Trust's website

Park(ing) Day is an annual open-source event where citizens, artists and designers collaborate temporarily to transform metered Parking spaces into living Parks. Usually held in September in the Northern Hemisphere, in our case it is scheduled in March when the weather is more suitable. 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. Since 2005, Park(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organisations and individuals(operating independently of Rebar, but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

The mission of Park(ing) Day 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 the urban human habitat . . . at least until the meter runs out.

This year's event in Wellington is organised again by the Wellington Sculpture Trust with the support of the Wellington City Council and a grant from the Wellington City Council Creative Communities Scheme.

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