The fourth San Antonio Park(ing) Day, an event where artists, designers, and residents turn parking spaces into temporary public parks in cities worldwide, will take place on Friday, Sept. 16 at the parking spaces in front of the 1221 Broadway building. The annual “open source” event was created by a San Francisco design firm in 2005 and in San Antonio it is hosted by 1221 resident TBG Landscape Architects.

TBG Senior Associate Elaine Kearney told the Rivard Report that Park(ing) Day will highlight the lack of walking access in downtown San Antonio and the Broadway Street corridor, in particular.

“This is temporary pop-up urbanism,” Kearney said. “The concept is to reclaim space occupied by vehicles. It makes people aware of how much space we give to parking spaces. (The firms) try to create an interactive pedestrian experience where anyone can participate.”

Park(ing) Day’s goal is to bring awareness to how much space cities devote to vehicles at the expense of pedestrian access. Six local design and architecture firms as well as students from the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction, and Planning will participate by transforming the 1221 parking spaces into temporary pedestrian-friendly parks.

“For example, I’ve heard that Lake/Flato will feature a solar component with their design,” Kearney said. “They’ll use solar panels to track shade. It’s sort of a prototype for a bus stop.”

TBG is hosting the event because the firm is uniquely positioned to continue the conversation about urbanism, Kearney said. Its office is located in a popular section of the Broadway corridor that has seen and continues to see an array of major construction and revitalization projects. Park(ing) Day, Kearney added, will pinpoint pedestrian access to and from downtown in particular.

“It’s two-fold,” she said. “It highlights the way the Broadway corridor is changing for the better and also engages participants with just how much better it could be for a pedestrian downtown. There’s a lot of underutilized space in that area. The parking spaces in front of our building are empty all of the time.”

The event is free and open to the public and attendees are encouraged to speak with the designers about their concepts. A panel of judges will choose the most creative parking spot while a popular vote will determine the people’s choice award. Happy Hour at the TBG courtyard will commence at 3 p.m., followed by Park(ing) presentations and awards.

San Antonio Park(ing) Day is sponsored by Centro San Antonio and the San Antonio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Top Image: The 2015 Park(ing) Day event in Downtown Austin, Texas. Photo by Adam Barbe.

Related Stories:

Thinking Outside the Park(ing) Spot

Commentary: San Antonio Greatness Requires Walkability

Broadway, a Street Still Awaiting Public Investment

Congress of New Urbanism: Meeting the Demand for Walkability

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James McCandless

Former intern James McCandless is a recent St. Mary's University graduate. He has worked with the San Antonio Current and Texas Public Radio.