The idea started in San Francisco in 2005 when an art studio created its own park in a parking space without city approval. Now cities all over the world have taken up the cause to liberate parking spaces for pedestrians, hosting an annual Park(ing) day on the third Friday of September.
Seattle's DOT is no exception and on September 19, after getting an avalanche of applications, Seattle's seventh annual Park(ing) Day will feature 50 pop-up parks around the city—a record, SDOT reports.
PubliCola’s Josh Feit, a big micropark fan (obsessed, even) has gotten the go-ahead for his Park(ing) Day idea, a SwaPark. The park will be across the street from the foot of the Harbor Steps, on Western Ave and University St.
Here's how the SwaPark will work: Bring an item—a book, a blouse, a chair, a lamp—and get something in return. (Josh is donating his copy of Twilight among other books.)
There will be a table for fancier items, one for low-budget items, plus a bookshelf, and a basket of knick-knacks. And Seattle Met’s own style editor Laura Cassidy is letting us use her rolling rack for the clothes swap portion of the pop-up park.
When you bring your giveaway item, we'll give you an index card and ask you to write a little anecdote about the bauble, gadget, doodad, or thing-a-majingy you're giving away.
Seattle’s current pilot parklet program has produced two microparks so far (one in Capitol Hill and one in the ID)—with 13 more on the way; though to Josh's dismay, one in the CD was scuttled when a local property owner complained.
Park(ing) Day is certainly a good way to test out ideas for another set of permanent microparks as SDOT expands the official program.