Rethinking the Park(ing) Spot
With just a fistful of quarters and a few pieces of sod, Rebar Group of San Francisco has been able to capture the imagination of Americans while initiating a larger conversation about our reliance on cars, the monochrome palette of our urban infrastructure, and our relationship with the natural world.
Park(ing) Day is an installation art meme that has spread across U.S. parking spots and lots since it’s inception in 2005. Rebar Group, an activist art collective based out of San Francisco, started the piece by peacefully taking over a single parking space in 2005 in order to initiate a dialogue about our relationship with urban spaces. Today, Park(ing) Day has spread to over 100 cities on 4 continents.
It is the simplicity in the act of reclaiming our urban spaces that makes Park(ing) Day such a compelling invention. With some loose change, anybody anywhere in the world can lay claim to a prime piece of real estate if only for a few hours.
The intent of Rebar Group was to start a conversation about our urban spaces, and it has unintentionally invented a worldwide movement. The standardization of Park(ing) Day (there is a manual and a manifesto that can be purchased from their website for a small fee here), and it’s ensuing scalability have been two key factors in the astonishing success of this interventionist art work.