In downtown Atlanta, parking spaces on parts of Broad Street will be transformed with games, a pop-up cafe and food truck Friday in honor of National PARK(ing) Day.
Cities across the world are participating in the event and will turn parking spaces into actual parks and other open spaces.
Paige Sullivan, with Central Atlanta Progress, says the day is important especially in car-centric Atlanta.
“We have a ton of parking inventory in Downtown. Most of which is not used to its full capacity,” Sullivan says. “So it’s really important for us as an organization to challenge ourselves and to challenge others on how we can think about how to re-allocate that public space.”
According to Central Atlanta Progress, there are 96,000 public parking spaces downtown. Only about 1% of employees downtown also work in the area, according to CAP. A majority of the workers that drive downtown, drive alone. The CAP report also says that low cost parking options further encourages driving.
“There are lots of groups who really want to encourage us to think differently on how we can get to and through places downtown Atlanta included,” Sullivan says.
Livable Buckhead will also celebrate the day, albeit a week later at Lenox Square. The day will transform about 50 parking spaces into parks.
Anna Sharp of Livable Buckhead says she wants the day to “encourage people to go outside, use their bikes and re-imagine what parking spaces would look like if they were parks instead.”
PARK(ing) Day, which started in 2005 in San Francisco, is held annually on the third Friday of September.