The Fish has been following developments in Parking Day for the last couple of years, and is heartily pleased that someone has got off their chuff and started the movement here too. Greg Bodnar managed to check out the scene in Lower Cuba St and check into a parking place for a few hours – taking up the officially designated car park space and turning it into a people park, complete with lovely (very) fake grass. While initially a bit concerned that local Council officials might come and ticket him / tow him away, apparently there was instead some good gods from the Council who just wanted to chat. The grass remains unticketed. Got any good photos Greg?
The Parking Day phenomenon has been on in the States for a few years – where some people have been taking it to an extremely sophisticated level. I’m pretty sure that it started in San Francisco, or at least, I think I’ve seen a good video of a greenish park cycling around the San Fran Capitol, and the local mayor coming out to have a chat. It would be good to get some local support behind this, and maybe next year do it on a larger scale?
The site of this minor traffic planning ingression is of course the new part of lower – sorry, Lower Cuba St. Calling something Lower is never really a good idea – witness the Hutt’s efforts to break away from that name for years now – and the pretty sad state of the new paving down there speaks volumes. Having a couple of dozen car parks in the middle of what should rightfully be a pedestrian area really doesn’t help much, and once the few Spartan trees grow a bit, it may be nicer, but the quality of the urban design down there is less than salubrious.
I’m hopefully however, that with the new Gordon Blue school for Foodies going in there, we are going to see a blossoming of Lower Cuba, into a gourmet Mecca with outdoor seating, market stalls, fresh food being given away daily by charming teenage chefs (making a nice change from stale smoke and beer emanating from the Downtown lounge), and a whole lot more green courtesy of people like Greg. Year round, not just for a day…