From parking to parks.

March 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm 1 comment

In a recent census-related move, the city of San Francisco counted all of its public parking spots. Of the 441,541 spots, over 280,000 are on-street (including only 25,000 metered spots). Matthew Roth reports that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency estimated 8×20 feet per metered space and 8×18 feet per unmetered space. The approximate total is 940 acres of on-street (non-garage) parking, which seems especially stunning when you consider that that’s only 50 acres smaller than Golden Gate Park, 100 acres bigger than Central Park,  or nearly double the size of Prospect Park.

As both a car owner and a strong advocate of public space, I understand the value of a parking spot and the value of what else that space could be used for. This is one reason why I love the idea of Park(ing) Day, “an international event that reclaims parking spots and transforms them into engaging, people-friendly public spaces for one day a year.”

March 29’s daily design idea is what temporary public space could you create in a paved, 8×20 rectangle? You can find out what other people come up with on September 17, 2010.

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The sweat of fine art. Looking, thinking, and gardening.

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