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Park(ing) Day is a world-wide, annual open-source global event in which artists, designers and activists collaborate to transform metered parking spaces in down-town city locations into temporary public green spaces for the purpose of calling attention to and inviting debate about the need for open, attractive, social gathering spots within the urban environment.  The project began in 2005 when San Francisco art and design studio, Rebar, “rented” a single metered parking space for two hours and transformed it into a temporary public “parklet”.  Rebar believed that the governmental planning strategies that have led to traffic congestion, pollution and poor health in cities everywhere do not reflect contemporary values, nor are they sustainable.

With activists in cities around the world wanting to support the cause initiated by Rebar, Park(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals worldwide following Rebar’s guidelines. 

For Park(ing) Day 2012, the Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba transformed a standard-sized parking space at Portage Avenue and Kennedy Street in downtown Winnipeg from cold concrete into something warm and inviting, covering the roadway with carpet tile, and providing a table and chairs, lounge seating, and plants. The public was invited into the space to sit and relax while experiencing something other than the usual noise, traffic and “storage” of cars. There were brochures available to inform the public about Park(ing) Day and PIDIM. The concept PIDIM created incorporated elements of the profession of interior design along with the concept of the park as a place of social interaction, rest, recreation and relaxation. Those who visited agreed the space did just that!

In total, there were eight locations within downtown Winnipeg participating in Park(ing) Day all expressing a variety of ways in which a parking space could become an inviting, public interaction location.

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