Report from OFF PICNIC: Park(ing) Day
Park(ing) Day comes to ARCAM to show us how even the tiniest outdoor spaces can provide a green oasis. Get involved on 21 September!
Reclaim your city! On Friday, September 21, worldwide event Park(ing) Day will involve citizens, artists and designers to take back metered parking spots and transform them into temporary public parks. Taking a bottom-up approach, last Sunday's event at ARCAM invited visitors of the exhibition, pedestrians passing by the museum and PICNIC participants to reclaim part of the city: an unused concrete plot in the IJ waterfront.
At Arcam on 16 September, Studio Placemakers presented a preview of their Amsterdam interpretation before Friday’s official activities. Placemakers is a non-profit consulting and design studio that does research on social-spatial location, making plans with community members for co-creation and forming a place together.
Organizers Naomi Hoogervorst and Ronald Boer were on-hand to discuss Friday’s scheduled events. “Eighteen small initiatives will have a little green park which is a parking space, and we have a youth chess club, a green hairdresser, a reading club, and a petting zoo with sheep,” said Boer. Also participating is the Oost Indisch Groen, a collective that transforms public green space into social green space where people create community gardens together.
This Friday, (21 September), Placemakers is working together with Wijkwiskunde to create temporary public parks in Amsterdam Oost, while also forming more visibility for Oosterpark and Flevopark. Parking spots will be occupied between Eerste van Swindenstraat and the Javastraat. As part of the project, participants will receive a free green starter kit including a grass mat, flowers, and plants for their park(ing) place. People are free to give the location a personality, in order to empower citizens to reclaim green space as their own.
Contributed by Joe Mier