Parking bays ‘hijacked’

2015-09-22 06:00
Parking bays across the city were turned into public space on Friday part of a global event.

Parking bays across the city were turned into public space on Friday part of a global event.

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Parking bays across the City were hijacked on Friday, as Capetonians celebrated PARK(ing) Day.

The event is part of an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into temporary public places, or ‘parklets’, explains Open Streets’ Marcela Guerrero Casas.

Open Streets is one of the organisations involved in the event, and is mobilising others to join the initiative and transform a parking bay for the day.

“We are encouraging people to get involved and share their ideas through a Facebook event and created an outdoor office with some games in front of our office in Harrington Street,” she says.

The global event began in 2005 when a San Francisco art and design studio converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in San Francisco.

The mission of the local 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.

Guerrero Casas says the initiative should however go further than just one day.

“In Cape Town we could never build enough parking bays to satisfy the seemingly insatiable need for more parking spaces. The solution lies in a new long-term approach to mobility and how the city centre is maximised for all users. After all, only a minority private cars as their main form of transport in the city.

“PARK(ing) Day provides us all with an opportunity to really see how we can use public space differently,” she says.

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