Every PARK(ing) Space Counts!
25 September 2012
On Friday 21 September Unitec’s Landscape Architecture students took part in this years PARK(ing) Day. PARK(ing) Day is an annual international event in which participants use metered parking spaces in an effort to create a temporary “park” installation or public space. The event began in 2005 in San Francisco, and has since become a global movement among organisations and individuals who wish to develop forms of temporary public spaces around the world.
This year, the venue was 2 parking spaces on Shortland Street in Auckland’s CBD. The initiative was developed by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) Auckland Branch in partnership with Unitec’s Landscape Architecture student support group, Lassu. The plan was to create a 3-dimensional image of Auckland City to fit into two of Shortland Street’s parking spaces.
“Our objective is to present the Auckland City Council with the 3-D map, so that they can see what people want, think and expect their city to be and look like in the future,” says John Allan, current Unitec student and editor of the Xsection Magazine.
The key areas of Landscape Architecture which the NZILA and Unitec wished to represent within the installation design, was recreation, environmental and social-cultural aspects. The area of recreation referred to benches and lawns, the environmental area aimed to represent trees and planting, and the social-cultural area focussed on the spatial map and infrastructure of Auckland.
The idea behind the design of the map was to encourage the engagement and participation of the public so they could have the opportunity to speak up and nominate what they would like to see implemented in the different areas of Auckland. Participants placed a sticker comment on the map explaining what they would like to see change and what they want their city to look like by the year 2050.
According to Erin Fitzpatrick, a Unitec student studying the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, the initiative “gives people the chance to speak up and allows them to communicate their perspectives and opinions anonymously on what they really want for their city.”
Encouraging a platform for critical debate around the topic of how public space is created worldwide, is important in this day and age. It provides those who do not usually have the opportunity to speak out, the chance to have their voices heard by the people who make the decisions their living environment.
For more information about the event, go to www.parkingday.org.