Dave Reid

PARK(ing) Day 2011!

By - Sep 8th, 2011 03:10 pm
Parklet - Sofia, Bulgaria

Parklet – Sofia, Bulgaria

Once again this year UrbanMilwaukee.com will be hosting a PARK(ing) Day event in downtown Milwaukee (last year’s photos).  PARK(ing) Day takes place on September 16th, 2011 and is quite simply a public space intervention.  Groups in cities around the world will be creating mini parks, public art displays, or simply activating a underused parking spot with people, but with the goal of showing how we can better utilize our public space to create a higher-quality built environment.

Although our space was quite minimalistic, last year’s PARK(ing) Day here in Milwaukee was a quiet call for on-street bike parking facilities.  And during this last year on-street bike corrals have been installed at three locations in Milwaukee, in a large part due to the efforts of Chris Socha of The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc. Milwaukee’s first on-street bike corral went in at Alterra’s Prospect Ave. location, while the Nomad and Cafe Hollander installations followed quickly thereafter, and now a possible fourth installation is in the works.  In the case of on-street bike corrals, business owners actually increased parking for customers and freed up more space on the sidewalk, while improving the built environment.

With the installation of on-street bike corrals Milwaukee has taken its first step towards the re-visioning of its use of public space, but what is the next step for Milwaukee?

Parklets.  A parklet, is a small urban park that replaces one or two parking spaces, and often is installed where sidewalk space is limited (though in the Sofia example above the sidewalks were large), and pedestrian traffic is high.  Parklets are designed to create a more enjoyable urban experience for residents by expanding the sidewalk space and including items such as planters, cafe seating, benches, artwork, or other amenities.  Cities across the U.S. including, New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia and around the world including Vancouver, and even Sofia have allowed the installation of Parklets, can Milwaukee be next?

To find out more about PARK(ing) Day, Parklets,  or just say hi, come visit us between noon and 2 pm September 16th, 2011 near the intersection of  Milwaukee St. and Mason St.  If you’re interested in partaking in the fun with us, bring a chair, there will be plenty of room.

Categories: Car Culture

7 thoughts on “PARK(ing) Day 2011!”

  1. Jeff Jordan says:

    I will be there and I’ll bring my own chair and lunch.

  2. Kerry Thomas says:

    Love it! See you on the 16th

  3. chris M says:

    I can’t decide to bring my bike or a chair. I’m not clever or brave enough to bring both.

  4. Jeff Jordan says:

    I just read on OnMIlwaukee.com that UWM students are observing PARKing Day in Shorewood.
    The word is spreading. Who says if you lead a person to a different perspective you can’t make them think?

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @chris m … I’d say bike over!

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