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Twenty parking spots along Connective Corridor transformed into one-day 'green' spaces

September 18, 2009

Jemeli Tanui
(315) 443-5172

Joining thousands from around the world, 75 people from various Syracuse organizations and SUNY-ESF students are celebrating Global PARK(ing) Day by transforming 20 parking spots along the Connective Corridor into public art and relaxation spots.

National PARK(ing) Day, started at 6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18, and will continue until sunset. The green installations are located at various parking spots along the Corridor including Armory Square, Columbus Circle along the Firefighters’ Memorial Park, along Forman Park on East Genesee Street, and around Marshall Square on University Hill.

PARK(ing) Day began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art collective, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in an area of San Francisco that is underserved by public open space.

Since 2005, the project has grown into PARK(ing) Day, an annual worldwide phenomenon, created independently by groups of artists, activists and citizens. Thousands of people in hundreds of cities around the world, from Seoul, South Korea, to Zurich, Switzerland, participated in this year’s PARK(ing) Day event.

“A lot of the spaces are themed around public parks because we want to raise awareness about how much space we take up for parking in our city. People want spaces where they can meet, spend time, put up art, play football—places where people can be together,” says Sally Greenfield, administrative secretary for COLAB, which planned the Connective Corridor PARK(ing) Day event.

COLAB—based in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing arts—is an interdisciplinary initiative that encourages students and faculty to use their diverse skills and perspectives to solve complex, real-world problems creatively and collaboratively.

Friday’s PARK(ing) Day installations along the Connective Corridor included: a beach complete with sand, a kitchen table promoting family dinner; a yoga instruction spot; interactive art spaces featuring painting workshops; a tipping green, a barbecue tent and a picnic table.

COLAB enlisted several local organizations for Friday’s event, including 40 Below, the Alchemical Nursery, the Greater Strathmore Neighborhood Association, Everson Museum, Onondaga County Department of Transportation, and local artists and activists. SUNY-ESF professors of landscape architecture brought 45 senior architecture students to the event, taking up 10 parking spots.

“PARK(ing) Day gives us educators a means to raise awareness in our students of all the land area that is consumed by parking which they need to be cognizant of as landscape architects,” says Robin E. Hoffman, associate professor in the department of landscape architecture at SUNY-ESF. “As urban designers, they need to know how to communicate all the issues and concerns through a design response, which is ultimately what they will do in their careers.”

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