PARK(ing) Day 2011

A project by our own Carleton Architecture grads:

Hopscotch in the Market

Pause and Play

Play takes the place of a parked car as local design team Impromptu Playground temporarily transforms a metered parking space in the Byward Market into a public park as part of the annual global event PARK(ing) Day. 

Impromptu Playground hopes to reintegrate play into urban space and daily life by inserting the playfulness of our childhood in the spaces of our grown up life. Through minimal and temporary interventions, they engage the potential of the places we pass every day and bring attention to the joy, the fun, and the whimsy that can easily be inserted in our built environment.  “Play doesn’t remind you of when you were a child, it reminds you that you still are,” says Impromptu Playground’s Sarah Gelbard.  “Play is about curiosity, exploration, creativity, and social connection.  It reminds us of some of the fundamental qualities that can make a thoughtfully designed public space well used and well loved.”

PARK(ing) Day is an “open-source” user-generated invention created by independent groups around the globe who adapt the project to champion creative, social or political causes that are relevant to their local urban conditions. The original PARK(ing) Day was created in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio. The project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2010 included more than 800 “PARK” installations in more than 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents.  “In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution,” says Rebar’s Matthew Passmore. “The planning strategies that generated these conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant human habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re- imagining the possibilities of the urban landscape.”

More information regarding local PARK(ing) Day activities can be found at and a global map of all participating cities are available on the PARK(ing) Day website, at

Impromptu Playground is the first collaboration emerging from yowLAB, a local group of young architects, architecture interns and graduates, artists, and designers.  yowLAB formed in early 2011 to foster and support collaborations within Ottawa’s architecture and design community.


Pause & Play:


3 responses to “PARK(ing) Day 2011

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