Celebrate international PARK(ing) Day in Chicago Friday in Jeff Park and Logan

A previous PARK(ing) Day installation by Moss Design near Addison and Southport in Lakeview.
A previous PARK(ing) Day installation by Moss Design near Addison and Southport in Lakeview.

Once a year, PARK(ing) Day highlights some of the awesome things we could do with urban land if our society wasn’t so obsessed with guaranteeing convenient storage of large, privately-owned metal boxes in the public way. Launched in 2005 in San Francisco, this now-global celebration involves temporarily converting on-street car parking spaces into miniature “parklets” with sod, plants, seating, games, live music, and more. It helped inspire cities to install on-street parklets on a semi-permanent basis, including Chicago’s (rather anemic) People Spot program.  Here are two places where you can take part in PARK(ing) Day tomorrow, Friday September 20.

Jefferson Park

The progressive community group Jefferson Park Forward will be hosting PARK(ing) Day festivities tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. near the Jefferson Park Transit Center, on the 4900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.

A previous Jeff Park PARK(ing) Day celebration. Photo: Jefferson Park Forward
A previous Jeff Park PARK(ing) Day celebration. Photo: Jefferson Park Forward

“PARK(ing) Day’s purpose is to help foster a stronger sense of community by temporarily converting space normally reserved for cars into community spaces where neighbors can come meet, make new friends, and support local businesses,” the group said on the Facebook event page. “Our purpose in bringing PARK(ing) Day to Jefferson Park is to highlight the need for more people space in our community. Especially with the large amount of open parking and wider roads that cross through the heart of our neighborhood and are a hazard to pedestrians.” The event will include food, games, and live performances by local musicians.

Logan Square

The architecture firm Moss Design will be marking PARK(ing) Day and the firm’s ten-year anniversary on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2749 N. Francisco Ave., with space to “lounge, play bocce ball, enjoy a cold beverage, eat pizza, and just chill-lax.”

Relaxing in the Southport PARK(ing) day parklet. Photo: Moss Design
Relaxing in the Southport PARK(ing) day parklet. Photo: Moss Design

Moss first celebrated PARK(ing) Daywith an  installation in 2009, and they’ve also designed People spots like this one at the Logan Square Intelligentsia, and this one in Andersonville. They say they’re currently working towards turning impervious asphalt next to their our headquarters in Logan Square into a permanent, water-filtering, tree-filled linear park.

From 3-6 p.m. Osteria Langhe is setting up their mobile pizza oven and slinging wood-fired pies. Marz Community Brewing will be providing beer.

So head to Jeff Park or Logan tomorrow to celebrate a day when storage for cars is transformed into space for people, and start brainstorming other ways that repurposing right-of-way can make Chicago more livable.

Are there any other PARK(ing) Day celebrations happening tomorrow that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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