Finding a parking spot in downtown Austin can sometimes be a challenge. Today, for Worldwide PARK(ing) Day, there will be two fewer spaces – but supporters say the spaces’ transformation serves a greater purpose.
Two parking spaces on Congress Avenue between Sixth Street and Seventh Street, outside the Royal Blue Grocery, have been temporarily converted into a “parklet”— where, instead of parking, people are invited to use the space as a park-like area to enjoy lunch, read a newspaper, or even just sit and chat.
The parklet conversion and local appreciation of Worldwide PARK(ing) Day is being overseen by the Central Texas chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism, which seeks to promote smarter civic design. It notes that Worldwide PARK(ing) Day started in 2005, when a San Francisco design firm converted a single metered parking space into a temporary pocket park.
Congress Avenue’s temporary transformation will only take place until 2 p.m. today, but the city has approved a more permanent transformation of those spaces as part of a program to test the feasibility of parklets on a wider scale.
Below, check out a worldwide map of cities participating in Worldwide PARK(ing) Day.
View Park(ing) Day in a larger map