PARK(ing) Day to Create Additional Parks in Dallas

Downtown parking spaces will be temporarily transformed by area citizens

Dallas, Texas, August 2012 — Friday, September 21st has been declared International PARK(ing) Day, and plans are underway to again bring this community-focused event to downtown Dallas. In 2011 local organizations and citizens temporarily transformed over 50 parking spots into active performance stages, reading lounges, pop-up museums, and other spaces for people to enjoy. Dallas joined the global event which included 975 parks in 162 cities across 35 countries (all taking place on the same day).

PARK(ing) Day is intended to promote social interaction, civic engagement, critical thinking, and creativity through individual generosity and play. Utilizing permitted on-street parking spaces, citizens are challenged to create welcoming “PARKS” that propose or demonstrate non-commercial ideas of what they’d like to see as part of the public space that defines this community. Temporary in nature, these spaces revert back to vehicle parking after several hours.

PARK(ing) Day Dallas 2012 will begin at 11:00am on Friday, September 21st and focus on parking space transformations in two areas of downtown Dallas: the Main Street District (along Main Street) and the Commercial Center (along Harwood Street). Entertainment and activities focused in each of these areas will enhance street life and bring the larger community together. A PARK(ing) Day After-Party will continue activities at Thanks-Giving Square (6:00–9:00pm) — a central location in the heart of downtown.

Businesses, organizations and individuals are encouraged to think creatively and add to the city’s public space with their own “PARK.” Teams from any background should reserve a space at www.parkingdaydallas.org by September 7th; there is no charge for participation. Artists and musicians wanting to showcase their talents can be part of the action by sending an email to [email protected]. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for interested businesses.

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Meet & Greet Recap

PARK(ing) Day Dallas had its first planning session with a Meet & Greet on Thursday, August 2nd. At this event past and future participants had the chance to meet and begin making plans for PARK(ing) Day on September 21st. Many new faces were at the meeting, and we’re looking forward to what teams dream up this year!

Those unable to attend the Meet & Greet can download the information sheet below, containing relevant registration information, important dates and resources. All participants should plan on attending the Participant Orientation on September 6th.

Don’t forget to register your group! Online registration officially opened on August 2nd and will end on September 7th.

Download PARK(ing) Day Dallas 2012 Info

Planning for 2012 Underway

PARK(ing) Day Dallas will transform parking spaces in Downtown Dallas on Friday, September 21st. Our organizing team has been working behind the scenes to plan this year’s event… and now we’re ready for your ideas!

Join us for a Meet & Greet event on Thursday, August 2nd (6:00pm) at the Magnolia Hotel Dallas. This event will kick-off planning efforts and be an opportunity to learn more about the mission of PARK(ing) Day. Talk with past and current participants or meet other individuals to form a team.

Here’s how you can participate:

Spread the Word: Tell friends and co-workers about our plans for PARK(ing) Day Dallas. Our Facebook page has the latest news; we’re also on Twitter. Posters with event details will be released closer to the event date.

Transform a Space: Any business, organization or individual can participate by taking over a parking space and creating a “PARK.” We’re focusing our efforts on a few key areas in downtown Dallas to make the greatest impact. Get a team together and reserve a space beginning Thursday, August 2nd.

Become a Sponsor: Local businesses and organizations are stepping up to sponsor PARK(ing) Day Dallas. This will give us greater awareness in the community and allow for expanded entertainment options during the event. Check out our Sponsors page for more.

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What is PARK(ing) Day Dallas?

You+Dallas Media covered our 2011 event and produced the following video.

PARK(ing) Day Dallas 2011 Recap

The first installation of PARK(ing) Day in downtown Dallas was a success in 2011. During the event on September 16th, 35 installations converted 50 on-street parking spaces into parks, performance areas and community space. Some of the installations showcased inspiring design from students and design firms, while others educated the community through informational displays. Music and entertainment attracted passers-by to stop and take in the moment, and some spaces simply provided a relaxed atmosphere to socialize and connect with neighbors.

Dallas Parks Department Trail

Dallas Parks Department created the "Nano Park"

The purpose of PARK(ing) Day is to create discussion about the use of public space in our communities. Since the event was held on a busy Friday in the heart of downtown Dallas, the usual routine of a work day was disrupted temporarily. Spaces normally reserved for cars were alive with a myriad of activities — a 10×20 space usually filled with one vehicle could contain seating for 10, a miniature museum or a pop-up book shop. Sidewalks were filled with curious downtown visitors longing for a change of pace. Business executives, students, downtown residents and even the homeless all shared these new spaces together. Even the riders of passing public transportation pressed against windows to watch the activity.

Book Swap by D Magazine

D Magazine Partners hosted a book swap for the community

The installations disappeared just as quickly as they popped up, being a temporal demonstration of what can happen when a community “reclaims” their public space. As spaces were disassembled one-by-one, vehicles immediately returned to occupy the street. Although the transformations were temporary, creative ideas and community connections remained after the event. Paired with similar demonstrations taking root in Dallas, these events may lead to a long-term re-thinking of our community’s streets and how we activate our city’s public spaces.

DSGN Community Table

DSGN created a community table in Deep Ellum

Globally, there were over 924 PARKs in 160 cities across 35 countries in September 2011! Thanks for making PARK(ing) Day Dallas a successful event; we hope to see you in 2012!

Performance Stage by UTA Students

UTA School of Architecture's performance stage won "Best Transformation"

CLICK HERE to view photos of PARK(ing) Day Dallas

CLICK HERE for media coverage of PARK(ing) Day Dallas 2011

Today is PARK(ing) Day!

What will the streets of Dallas look like on Friday, September 16th? As parking spaces become scarce (in a few select areas), trees and plants may be a shock to the regular commuter; sculptures built from reclaimed materials may even appear absurd. But getting a little closer, you’ll notice a variety of interesting public spaces where once were parked empty vehicles.

In those “reclaimed spaces” you’ll be able to experience the creations of individuals of all backgrounds. Perhaps you’d like to critique the design of a local architect, or visit a pop-up museum of artifacts while the city’s architectural heritage looms overhead. For something a bit more exciting, walk down the sidewalk and watch a game of street soccer while learning how the power of sport can fight homelessness. Or — if you’re in the mood to keep walking — experience the city’s newest (and shortest-lived) trail: the 50-foot “Nano Park.”

Grab a lemonade and enjoy some watercolor painting, or stop by a “reading forest” for a book swap. If entertainment is what you’re looking for, over 30 local musicians and performers will appear on stages all over downtown. Of course, if you just want a place to enjoy the weather, plenty of creative lounges and relaxing gardens will pop up along the sidewalks. You might event bump into downtown residents or office workers and learn a little about the city around you.

This is all part of PARK(ing) Day, which began in San Francisco in 2006 as a social experiment to challenge our perceptions of public space. The annual event calls on citizens to reclaim streets and re-envision them as assets for community-building. The idea has spread around the world, and today PARK installations will pop up as far away as Iran, India, China and New Zealand. Ideas for the transformed spaces are limitless, but all have the goal of bringing people together. What would you put in a parking space?

Friday’s street transformations will only last a few hours, but the experiences made during the event (whether large or small) will affect the city as it continues to mature; the public spaces we envision today could have a lasting effect on the city of tomorrow.

Today in Dallas our city’s residents, businesses, and organizations will come together on common ground — once reserved for auto parking — to form a community. We hope to see you there!

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter (#parkingday #dallas) for the latest news throughout the event!

Thanks to Our Sponsors

The planning group began meeting on July 20th with the idea of bringing PARK(ing) Day to Downtown Dallas. Several meetings later the event has grown to include over 40 PARK installations in three separate districts. While the initial process was begun by downtown residents, countless others stepped up to help make the event a success. We’d like to mention a few of them here:

  • Downtown Dallas, Inc. has worked with the City of Dallas to secure permits and other resources to make it possible for any team to participate.
  • Deep Dallas has organized great local talent for 4 separate performance stages throughout the event.
  • Deep Ellum Outdoor Market and bcWORKSHOP have helped expand and organize the event in Deep Ellum.
  • CityDesign Studio has helped with graphics and printing for the event.
  • The Planning Committee has spent many hours over the past two months thinking of creative ways to increase involvement and build excitement.
  • City Tavern has hosted the planning meetings in a central, convenient location.
  • The Design Research Center will help gather data and information about the event for future reference.
  • Team Better Block will judge the creativity competition and award a unique trophy to the winning team.

In addition to these, our followers and commentators on Facebook have been great in spreading awareness of the event and giving us valuable feedback for this and any future event. Thank You!

PARK(ing) Day Dallas Entertainment

In addition to activities in individual PARKS, Deep Dallas has scheduled a great lineup of local musicians and performers for PARK(ing) Day Dallas. Performances will take place on 4 stages: 3 stages in the Main Street District and 1 stage in Deep Ellum. Come out to watch great local talent! Below is a schedule of Friday’s performances.

STAGE ONE
(Main Street District: Main Street at Pegasus Plaza)

STAGE TWO
(Main Street District: Main Street in front of Plush & City Tavern)

STAGE THREE
(Main Street District: Main Street in front of Roma Express)

  • 11:00 – 12:00 :: Rick Alvarado
  • 12:00 – 1:00 :: Justin Dyer
  • 1:00 – 2:00 :: Robbie Saunders of Tweed EQ
  • 2:00 – 3:00 :: David Lopez
  • 3:00 – 4:00 :: Ann Stover
  • 4:00 – 5:00 :: Tony Rey
  • 5:00 – 6:00 :: Poetry & Performing Arts – Montgomery Sutton, Edie Bakker & Sara Jane King of the Writers Garret
  • 6:00 – 7:00 :: Mike Freiley

STAGE FOUR
(Deep Ellum: Main Street in front of Zen Baking Company)