Monthly Archives: September 2009

From Car Spaces to People Places: Park(ing) Day is coming to Phoenix

pd2009_poster_commemorativeFollowing up on the successful Jane’s Walk Phoenix in May, a couple of friends and I are organizing another ‘place making’ event on Friday, September 18th.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day, global event that promotes the importance of green and urban public spaces as community activists, neighborhood leaders and urban planners step up to the curb, put a quarter in the meter, and proceed to transform curbside metered parking spots into temporary public parks. The event is intended to help people rethink the way we use our streets and creates diverse conversations about how we can make sustainable cities. This concept of PARK(ing) Day is based on the idea that putting money into a parking meter is like ‘renting’ a public space.

Jane Jacobs, in The Death and Life of Great American Cities wrote that, in order to make a city safe, prosperous and worth living in, one must start with “lively and interesting streets.” With this end in mind, Park(ing) Day PHX is an opportunity to create community, engage the public and begin a dialogue on topics ranging from city parks and public space to the environment to mobility options and community improvement projects.

The Park(ing) Day PHX spaces will be located adjacent to ASU Downtown, on 1st St. between Polk St. and Fillmore St. between 7 and 9 a.m.

PARK(ing) Day was originally created in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, as an experimental exploration in repurposing public space. Since then has been creatively adapted and sparked imaginations around the world.

For more details on Park(ing) Day in general, visit www.ParkingDay.org or contact me via email.

If you living in Phoenix, I hope you can stop by and support us. You can RSVP on Facebook or Yelp.

Here are some pictures from past Park(ing) Day events in other cities.

Clevland 2006

Cleveland 2006

Los Angles, 2008

Spokane, 2007

Brooklyn, 2006

Brooklyn, 2006

Stay tuned for pictures from the inaugural Phoenix event!

[Cross-posted on YuriArtibise.com]

Quick Take: Dave Byrne on Mixed Use

In a recent Wall Street Journal column, former Talking Heads front man David Byrne discusses the elements that he would expect in a ‘perfect city’ and gives examples of cities that exemplifies his preferred qualities. and those that don’t.  One of the elements he discusses is  Jane Jacobs principle of ‘mixed uses’:

Mixed use

David Bryne in Budapest.  Photo by Natalie Kuhn

David Bryne in Budapest. Photo by Natalie Kuhn

This is a Jane Jacobs phrase. A perfect city is where different things are going on, relatively close to each other, at different times of the day. A city isn’t a strip of hotels and restaurants on a glorious beach; it’s a place where there are restaurants and hotels, but also little stores, fashion boutiques, schools, houses, offices, temples and banks. The healthy neighborhood doesn’t empty out at 6 p.m., as most of downtown L.A. does. In my perfect city there would always be something going on nearby.

Jane Jacobs: The Movie

Jane Jacobs: Urban Wisdom Screener

Through her groundbreaking books, Jane Jacobs has influenced the planning and understanding of cities and economies with what she calls a web way of thinking. In this program, Jacobs shares her insights into urban planning by tracing the progression of ideas in her books, including The Death and Life of Great American Cities; The Economy of Cities; Cities and the Wealth of Nations; Systems of Survival; and her most recent, The Nature of Economies. An extended interview with Jacobs is blended with scenes from various North American cities and footage of her 1997 seminar, “Ideas That Matter.”