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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    PARK(ing) Day to make space

    Space is one of the most pivotal, ubiquitous and inexpressible entities that exists. And it’s coming to Tucson Friday, Sept. 17, when you’ll have the opportunity to create your own public space between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    PARK(ing) Day is a global, one-day event that began in San Francisco in 2005 when an art and design studio called Rebar converted a metered parking spot into a temporary park in an area of the city where public space is practically nonexistent. Since then, PARK(ing) Day has come to exist as a diversified resource that addresses “”a variety of social issues in diverse urban contexts around the world,”” according to parkingday.org. It grants activists, artists and average citizens the opportunity to temporarily convert a parking space — which seem to be consuming urban areas like a disease — into a park or site of public art for a day.

    This program stresses, through the medium of public art, the value of space and uses it to demonstrate many global issues such as war, self-expression, kindness and the indelible wisdom of service to society. In this world that we live in, space is becoming more precious to money-grubbing corporations, which tear down fields and parks, historic buildings and key lots to line their pockets. This action limits the scope to which we can appreciate what nature has to offer. Simply put, it also limits the space in which we can thrive. PARK(ing) Day, through service to society, creates community, a place that we can enjoy temporarily, “”[all] this in the context of this most modest urban territory — the metered parking space,”” according to the Rebar website.

    Reclamation of the community, for the community, and harkening back to these traditional values is important for humanity, and PARK(ing) Day gives us an opportunity to do just that. It challenges the existing notion of public space and allows for the expression of the individual in that space. PARK(ing) Day instantaneously creates community and concurrently reclaims wasted space. This quiet activism is not only raising awareness for the amount of urban space that is wasted but also gives the community a chance to generate their own thoughts on the issue. In the past, participants of PARK(ing) Day have used the space to create small parks by rolling out little mats of grass, setting up young potted trees and beautiful wildflowers, bringing in park benches and laying out and enoying the new shade. Others set up picnic tables to play chess while wheelbarrows, grills and lawn chairs line the pavement.

    Tucson had one of the highest levels of PARK(ing) Day participation in the world last year. This Friday spaces will be available throughout Fourth Avenue, Main Gate Square and the greater metropolitan area. Feel free to buy a space and improve the quality of the urban habitat or come and mingle or create your own space. The possibilities are limitless.

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