PARK(ing) Day – reimagining public spaces across Calgary
Calgary is joining other cities across the globe to transform parking spaces into creative temporary public spaces. Artists, designers, planners and local community members are transforming 10 parking spaces around Calgary into vibrant pop-up parks, art installations and urban sanctuaries. You’re invited to visit and experience these PARK(ing) spaces from Friday, Sept. 18, to Sunday, Sept. 20, in a safe, physically-distanced manner. This event is a great way for citizens to enjoy our wonderful city and an opportunity to visit and support local businesses.
PARK(ing) Day is the annual tradition of converting metered parking spaces into temporary public parks. This year, we’re re-imagining and expanding the event across Calgary and extending it for a full weekend, responding to COVID-19. It allows The City of Calgary and our partner Alberta Association of Landscape Architects to find more public space for more people to participate.
“Creating well used public spaces has always been a priority for The City. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced even more how important access to public space is for all Calgarians,” said City of Calgary Planner Kate Zago. “PARK(ing) Day allows Calgarians to take a space that’s normally only available to a car and open it up for people to use for recreation, leisure or something more simple, like sitting and connecting with their community.”
With PARK(ing) Day being hosted throughout the city and spread out over three days, there’s an opportunity for citizens to experience more of Calgary in a safe and physically distanced way. This year, PARK(ing) spaces are being transformed in the Beltline, Inglewood, Forest Lawn, Kensington, Crescent Heights and the East Village. With the weather forecast looking like a sunny fall weekend, we’re encouraging Calgarians to seek them out and explore these transformed public spaces.
“It’s important that Calgarians feel empowered to make changes to their city and more importantly their own communities,” said Zago. “Often times we see something, like a parking space, and only see it as that. PARK(ing) Day is about sparking ideas and looking at a mundane piece of land and seeing these creative possibilities.”
PARK(ing) Day 2020 will be The City’s most wide-spread, boasting 10 creatively re-imagined PARK(ing) spaces in six communities:
- The Sleepwalk – Thomson Family Park (12 Street S.W. – between 15 and 16 Avenue) The Sleepwalk reminisces on the state of being in-between: slumber and wakefulness, interior and exterior, fiction and reality. Within the distorted house-like structure, pedestrians are invited to explore beauty in the mundane – to walk, to sit, and ponder in this strange garden.
- Woodscape – Tomkins Park (16 Avenue S.W.) “Play” is a crucial part of a child’s physical, social and cognitive development. Woodscape is a pathway of recycled tree stumps sitting atop a landscape of mulch and plants that will give kids the sense that they are walking through a wild and natural woodland.
- Silent Disco – Tomkins Park (16 Avenue S.W.) Come down and snap a photo with the silent disco on 17th Avenue. This interactive space allows users to get right in the action all while keeping a social distance. Get dancing next to the cardboard cutouts that speak to your inner disco style.
- Air Hug – Tomkins Park (16 Avenue S.W.) "Air Hug" is the reminder of the connections we hold dear to our hearts. Inspired by Instagram worthy backgrounds, people can take a selfie and send a virtual hug to loved ones.
- M-OD-OFI Environment – Simmons Building (618 Confluence Way S.E.) M-OD-OFI Environment is a modular outdoor office environment designed to spur creativity, collaboration and connection in public space. As a response to the current conversations being had around the future of workspace, need for social connection, and environmental sustainability, the M-OD-OFI Environment installation challenges traditional static private workspaces.
- You Belong in Crescent Heights Village – 919 Centre Street N.W. - *Only open Saturday, 1-4 p.m.* Crescent Heights is for everyone – let us know your identity and share what inclusiveness is, right in the heart of our community.
- Home is Where the Health Is – 1130 Kensington Road N.W. Street CCRED is partnering with the Calgary Drop-In Centre to highlight the importance of housing to improve the health of Calgary citizens. The intention is to setup a ‘home’ in the allotted parking space with furniture and other household items provided by the DI’s Donation Centre.
- Educating for Equity – Cumming School of Medicine (3330 Hospital Drive N.W.) Indigenous family doctor and researcher Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe describes an ideal clinical relationship as the feeling of sitting on a park bench getting to know somebody, as equals. The park bench represents this concept. A sign at the site will invite people to contribute, asking "What would an inclusive space around the park bench look like?"
- International Avenue Unity Through Community – 3505 17 Avenue S.E. We have collected 42 endearing comments from community members and business owners which we will be printing and suspending from a frame. In the centre is a space for community members to post more positive comments about what they love about International Avenue and central east Calgary. This colourful, positive display is for and by the community, encouraging people to take pride in where they live.
- PARK PARK – 880 11 Street S.E. A multi-use recreational space AND a parking lot. Calgary Parking Authority’s PARK PARK is designed as a layer cake of uses; it's a place of curiosities made from parks. It's a parking park, a sitting park, a playing park, a gathering park, a riding park, a park kind of park.
For more information on PARK(ing) Day and our 2020 PARK(ing) spaces, please visit calgary.ca/parkingday.