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Play And Display: It's Park(ing) Day

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Car parking spaces in Wellington and Auckland are 'play and display' today. Cars will be replaced with paddling pools, swingball sets, lounge-chair lizards, musicians, and much more in the inner-city.

Today is Park(ing) Day, which celebrates people-friendly cities. Car parking spaces on Auckland and Wellington streets have been transformed into temporary public parks and playgrounds. Over a hundred cities across the world are doing the same for International Park(ing) Day. It is part of a growing movement for cities designed around people, not just cars.

The event is supported by the Intersect Network of young professionals. Nick Potter, Chair of Intersect, comments that "Park(ing) Day is a playful way to encourage people to see how much more friendly our cities could be. Cars have a place, but not in every space. People are the heart of our cities."

Designers of the event highlight some important ingredients for a people-friendly city. They are great places for wandering around by foot, safe and fun for cycling, have plenty of open spaces, and bring people together to create a good buzz.

"Park(ing) Day is just the ticket for creating better cities," says Megan Hosking, fellow Trustee of Intersect. "We can all play a part in creating spaces that we love to be in. Life is not a drive-through."

The only thing that traffic wardens need to worry about is that they might get a free hug from participants. Each parking space is being paid for, with passers-by encouraged to contribute change for the parking meters.

New Zealand Park(ing) Day is a collaboration between many people and organisations, including Intersect, Heart of the City, the Sustainability Trust, Frocks on Bikes, Cycle Aware Wellington, 350 Aotearoa and various local businesses.

In Auckland the park(ing) spaces are in multiple locations along Queen St, Lorne St and High St. In Wellington they are located on Courtenay Place, Cuba St, and Lambton Quay.

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