*Photo by Rebar
*Photo by Rebar

International PARK(ing) Day will be celebrated on Friday, 20 September and, this year, the City of Hamilton is participating!

PARK(ing) Day is an annual event, begun in San Francisco eight years ago, where parking spaces are taken over and converted to alternative uses. The first PARK(ing) Day featured a single parking spot and by 2011 this global movement encompassed 975 parks in 162 cities across 35 countries and six continents.

The event is designed to expand the public spaces in a city and the alternatives can range from mini-parks to play areas to spots of respite in the middle of a busy day.

The Department of Planning and the Corporation of Hamilton have invited artists, businesses and community groups to use their imagination and create alternative visions for selected car parking spaces in the City for one day.

Minister of the Environment and Planning, the Hon. Sylvan Richards JP MP said: “PARK(ing) Day is designed to expand our thinking about public spaces and encourage us to consider the impact of cars. We hope everyone will enjoy the innovative ‘parks’ set up on Friday.”

This is a joint project of Department of Planning and Corporation of Hamilton. Mayor of Hamilton, Graeme Outerbridge said: “The Council wants to encourage people to walk around the City and enjoy what we have to offer. We are delighted that community organisations and businesses have come together to make this an exciting introduction to the possibilities of a city with more public spaces.”

This year’s PARK(ing) Day will focus only on Reid Street but organizers hope to expand the concept for future PARK(ing) Days to other areas in the city.