• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Park(ing) Day 2011

Today was Park(ing) Day, when unsuspecting parking spaces throughout the city were transformed into temporary parks. This year, more than 30 mini-parks popped up thanks to organizations like the Community Design Collaborative, government agencies like the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, and design firms like Interface Studio.

As I walked around the city checking out the parklets, I watched Philadelphians ignore, marvel at, and enjoy the installations.

The Olin Studio created a feral car - a clunker Cadillac covered in moss with the seats still intact. The car's hood propped against a lamppost proclaimed "This Is A Park." With that invitation, lots of people took the cue to rest for a moment in the car's seats which were arranged to face each other. Down Chestnut Street, Groundswell Design Group created a minipark out of elements you'd find in a vacant lot in Philly: tires, wildflowers and herbs, wood pallets, cones.

For the agencies and advocacy groups, Park(ing) Day was also an opportunity to talk about their work. At the Center City District installed a demonstration streetscape planter on Market Street where they will be working with the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) to create a protected bike lane. The lane would separate bike and car traffic, and will likely be studied in the coming months.

The Bicycle Coalition installed two sets of bike corrals with the help of MOTU including one that is car-shaped on Sydenham at Walnut. And, lucky us, these will both stay installed for the next 6-7 weeks.

About the author

Ashley Hahn, Contributor

Ashley Hahn started Eyes on the Street for PlanPhilly in 2011 and was PlanPhilly's managing editor from September 2015 until July 2017. She is interested in preservation, neighborhoods, and all things public – from policy to art. She holds masters degrees in City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation from PennDesign. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. She is proud to call 19147 home. 

Contact Ashley via email or find her on twitter: @ashleyjhahn.


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