Park(ing) Day Planned to Draw Attention to Downtown Land Use

by Erica Peterson on September 5, 2011

Next week, there will be seven fewer street parking spots in downtown Louisville, and seven more green spaces. September 16 is Park(ing) Day: a day when groups in cities around the world transform parallel parking spots into miniature parks called parklets.

Branden Klayko runs the blog Broken Sidewalk. His site is co-sponsoring Louisville’s Park(ing) Day along with the Urban Design Studio.

“The event is meant to increase the debate on public space in cities,” he said. “Louisville does have quite a few surface-level parking lots that this event really helps to reconsider how we’re using our finite urban spaces and how can we utilize them better.”

Last year, volunteers created 850 miniature parks in on-street parking spaces around the world. Louisville was one of the 183 cities that participated, but the city shut down the so-called parklets because of insufficient permitting. This year, the organizers have the necessary permits.

Organizers collected submissions for this year’s parklets, and Klayko says there were lots of innovative ideas.

“From one of them is sort of a Zen garden, to another one has an emphasis on sustainability and rainwater runoff and those topics and another one draws attention to urban farming,” he said.

There are seven parklets planned downtown, and they’ll be connected by a bike loop. For a map of parklet locations, click here.

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