One day each year, parking spots around the city transform into pop-up parklets. It’s known as PARK(ing) Day, an annual global event every third Friday of September to allow residents to get creative in their streets and repurpose public space. This year’s event will happen on September 21; applications close on August 24.
“In Seattle, we want to encourage communities to use streets as sites for public expression and creative experimentation, as well as for enjoyment of health and wellness,” according to city officials promoting the event.
In the past, parklets have included live music, games such as giant Jenga, art installations, and even little wading pools. The more creative, the better.
New this year are neighborhood “clusters”, in which the city will help organize multiple installations grouped together to make for a “safer, less isolated and more engaging experience”. Ballard isn’t included as a cluster, but the following are: Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, West Seattle, U. District, Lake City, and Rainier Beach.
Also new is an awards ceremony for the best parklet designs. Participants will be eligible to win one of three awards presented by the WASLA Washington Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects, as part of the culmination of the Seattle Design Festival. The awards celebration will be on the evening of PARK(ing) Day at the Center for Architecture and Design from 7 to 9pm.
For inspiration or to learn more about PARK(ing) Day, join one of the city’s info sessions at Bulldog News Parklet in the U. District on August 7 from 11am to 1pm, or at Sugar Plum Parklet on Capitol Hill on August 8 from 5:30 to 7:30pm.