One of my our urban reclamation events, PARK(ing) Day, is coming back September 17th! The concept is simple: turn parking space into public space. It’s part political, part environmental, part cultural. And for urban planners and architects, creative too. This year, I will be part of Columbia University GSAPP’s parking spot. Last year, GSAPP’s spot was fun and interactive. If you successfully threw a water balloon into a miniature toilet, the water would spray a plant set up underneath–a little lesson on waste water management. Others had transformed their spots into beaches, mini soccer fields, gardens, performance spaces and more.

Started in San Francisco in 2006 (inspired by New York’s Transportation Alternatives 2005 parking squat in Brooklyn), the event now takes place in 100 cities around the world. I see it as a personalized version of the pedestrian only streets introduced in New York City last year.

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