Urban Blazers, St. James School and WRT (Wallace Roberts & Todd), joined in a national collaborative practice of city and regional planners, urban designers, landscape architects, and architects, partnered to promote PARK(ing) Day in Philadelphia at 18th & Market).
The purpose of 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 urban human habitat…at least until the meter runs out!
The project began in 2005 when Rebar (a San Francisco art and design studio) converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.
Eric Dolaway, executive director of Urban Blazers, helped bring together WRT and St. James School students for the purpose of introducing the mission of PARK(ing) day to thousands of roaming Philadelphians. Students invited pedestrians to sign their growing tree by adding their ideas for sustainability to a paper leaf. Others had the opportunity to experience the “roaring fire” of the “campsite,” or talk to our students about ways they can improve air quality or beautify local parks.
St. James School is grateful to Urban Blazers and WRT for their invitation to experience our first PARK(ing) Day. Students were excited to bring back their experience of promoting mother earth to their fellow students, teachers and families. Looking forward to PARK (ing) Day 2013!