A walk in the PARK

Think metered parking spaces can only be used for cars? Think again. The forward-thinking, public space-obsessed art collective REBAR has been exploiting a legal loophole that allows just about any use of those car-sized spots – as long as the meter’s being fed – since 2005.

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Back then, the small Bay Area-based collective started by building miniature public parks in places where private SUVs usually live. The result was so surprising and delightful that the idea’s caught on worldwide – and now, on Friday, September 19, in 600 cities globally, metered spaces will be used for everything from extended sidewalk seating outside a café to, in one Bay Area case, a marriage locale. (Watch the two men wed on Friday at 137 Scott, from 3 to 5pm.)

Even if you don’t have time to build your own park, take a walking tour and join in the fun as businesses, individuals, and arts groups all over the city transform gutters into gardens. For more info on PARK(ing) Day, visit www.parkingday.org. Or, for maps of the day’s haps, check out the Trust for Public Land’s national info at their website.

For more information on REBAR, including other projects such as a commission for the City of Amsterdam and a presentation at the world-renowned Venice Architecture Biennale, check out their website at www.rebargroup.org.

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Sure beats a carpool. Flickr photo by Plaid Iguana.