Rochester, NY SWBR and Appel Osborne partnered on National PARK(ing) Day Friday, Sept. 20th, to turn two parking spaces on South Franklin St. into a “sustainable hangout area.” The annual event encourages community members, students and designers to transform metered parking spaces into temporary parklets for the day.
The designated space encourage community members who work, shop, eat and play in the area to “hang” in what is traditionally a parking spot. Representatives at SWBR and Appel Osborne were on-site to answer questions about sustainability and “going green” at home and at work.
“As architects and designers, we have a great appreciation for sustainability and hope to get others talking about it, too,” said Matthew Lupiani, AIA, SWBR office manager in Syracuse. “In our design and work every day, we’re constantly thinking about new ways to be sustainable. The transformed parking spaces will inspire conversations, and hopefully action, about ways to be sustainable in everyday life.”
Inspired by a national movement based in San Francisco, called PARK(ing) Day, this event is meant to raise awareness of the impact of public park space and the benefits it provides to the urban environment. These include improved water management, reduced heat island effects and a pedestrian space with opportunities for community enjoyment. The parking spots will be barricaded off so participants are safe from moving traffic.
“PARK(ing) Day is a great initiative to start the conversation locally about the value and importance of green space and pedestrian-friendly park areas in urban environments,” says AOLA associate, Brittany Belding, RLA. “Being a landscape architect gives me the opportunity to create outdoor spaces that communities can enjoy for gathering, recreation, and even learning. I hope this event generates a dialogue and further understanding about design that is mindful of the preservation of our natural environment.”
In urban areas around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution. These conditions are no longer sustainable and don’t promote a healthy, vibrant urban environment. The purpose is to get community members to rethink the way streets are used and reimagine the possibilities of the urban landscape.