Park(ing) Day is Back on September 16!

The Ballard Writers Collective and other community members transformed this parking space on 32nd Ave NW into a pottery studio for the day.


For one day this September, citizens around the globe will participate in PARK(ing) Day, temporarily turning on-street parking spaces into public places. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about the importance of walkable, livable, healthy communities and to re-think how our public streets can be used. As landscape architects, this is a huge opportunity to showcase our profession and what we do as a whole. As such, WASLA would like to see strong community participation throughout the state. Are you interested in the idea of PARK(ing) Day, but not sure how to start “putting the wheels in motion?” WASLA is here to help you with the process.

Build Relationships - Contact the municipality you wish to host a parklet in to establish a point of contact. This will most likely be an individual in the engineering or transportation department involved with street use permitting. If your local municipality has never heard of PARK(ing) Day, help teach them about this worldwide celebration and how it could help your city.

Develop Action Plan - Work with your local municipality to identify the most efficient way to implement PARK(ing) Day. What tasks are your local agency well-positioned to complete, and what tasks could you help them complete in order to create a strong project team? Talk with your local agency about the PARK(ing) Day process that best fits their needs. If the process uses a typical street permit, open up conversation about gaining efficiency through using an umbrella-type permit.

Seek Collaboration - Reach out to your local community to get them excited about PARK(ing) Day! Restaurants and coffee shops could benefit from the increased foot traffic that a parklet would create in front of their business. Book stores, music stories, and the like could offer new temporary space for their customers to sample new products. Get creative!

Generate Statistics - Use PARK(ing) Day as a case study to generate statistics on the importance of walkable, liveable, and healthy communities. Seattle Department of Transportation found PARK(ing) Day was a great way to fight the “NIMBY” attitude toward parklets and other temporary people-places that may take away park spots. This is a relatively low-risk opportunity to try something new in your town!

PARK(ing) Day in Seattle and the Seattle Design Festival:

#SDF2016 / How do you ‘Design for Change’?

The 2016 Seattle Design Festival will happen over the course of one week running from Saturday September 10th through Friday September 23rd. As part of the design festival, PARK(ing) Day 2016 will take place over two days, September 16th and 17th. The city will allow for both pop-up parks and tactical urban projects on both of these days. The tactical installations include bicycle lanes, safer crosswalk designs and more.

If you are interested in volunteering for PARK(ing) Day - either by installing a park, coordinating efforts in a specific neighborhood or through promotions and social media – there will be a PARK(ing) Day Volunteer Orientation event on June 21st at 5:30 in the Seattle Municipal Tower (700 5th Avenue, Seattle) on the 41st floor in room 4155. For more information, visit or contact Tom Walker at [email protected].

The 2016 Seattle Design Festival theme, Design for Change, proposes that design can maximize the public benefits of change, while empowering those communities most impacted by that change. In Seattle, a place experiencing tremendous change, this year’s festival will investigate and celebrate the role of design in an evolving place. What does design offer us at this critical time? What new and provocative solutions might exist as a result of design thinking?  

We would like to make landscape architecture part of this discussion. Opportunities are available to give a talk, host an event, plan an activity, and more. Check out the SDF website for details, or reach out to Susan Surface at Design in Public at [email protected].

There are also opportunities to sponsor a park and provide financial help to community groups that would like to build a park and be part of this event. Last year, WASLA members helped sponsor over 50 parks, which allowed local groups to take part in creating public spaces throughout the city.

Special thank you to our 2015 sponsors: Play & Park Structures, Swift Company LLC, GGLO, SvR, Mithun, Brumbaugh & Associates Landscape Architecture, The Watershed Company and Ned Gulbran Landscape Architects. 

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