Over the past century we’ve gradually seen our streets taken over, not just by traffic, but by the need to store parked cars. We’re so used to this, we barely notice the huge amound of space that parking takes up – acres of effectively dead space spread right across our towns and cities. If we want to rebalance our streets to meet the needs of everyone – and particularly children – then we have to start reimagining what we could do with all this public space. And what better way to do that than to actually take over a few of those parking spots and transform them, if only for a day?
On Friday February 9th we’re taking part in the Firestarter festival which runs across Scotland celebrating creativity in public life. We’ll take over four parking spaces on Regent Road, outside St. Andrew’s House in Edinburgh- to turn an unpromising stretch of the A1 into a lively space for people. We will bring the pop-up park: some grass (well, astroturf), benches, fairy lights and greenery. All we need are the people to help to reanimate the space. If you can provide some sort of event (music, dancing, tai chi, games – you name it, as long as it can be fitted into four parking spaces) that would be fantastic. Otherwise why not drop by and see what’s going on? It could be anything from hula hooping to a human pyramid. Anything, indeed, but space for storing private cars.
One thought on “Shine a Light: Help us reimagine our city streets”
Have you been in touch with Brenda Puech of People Parking fame and her portable people parking space – I wonder if it can be transported to Edinburgh for a guest appearance, as it can be moved around by cargo bike, and could fit in to the van space on an HST or IC225. Failing that there is a wealth of material in the visitors books and pictures that might be useful.
There is also the Glasgow Council funded parklet https://www.icecreamarchitecture.com/copy-of-grounds-for-play-3 but my information is that this was put into storage and was damaged whilst there, to the extent of being unrepairable.
I’ve pictures of doing some basic country dance moves on bikes, these are ideally highly manouevrable bikes (Bromptons/Bicycle Polo), a very basic formation of turning/stars at the ends and then crossing/reel of 4 could work for 4 riders
The Brompton parking space challenge could be considered (the answer is 42), as could the standard bike parking (13) – at a pinch you can just about get 26 bikes stored on a parking space with the Orion Beta XXL or the Odoni-Ellwell Type 10.
Cargo bikes and the use of public bike & car share might also be highlighted (Edinburgh has several electric vehicles in the car club fleet – representing a zero emission at PoU (ZEPU?), vehicle which cuts down the number of cars that need to be stored for 95% of the time).
I’ll be catching up with SF of CUK on some of this.
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