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Parking today, park tomorrow: MU students to transform curbside spaces into public spaces

Thursday, September 19, 2013 | 7:00 p.m. CDT; updated 8:10 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 19, 2013

COLUMBIA— If you're walking down Hitt Street on Friday, you might notice something other than cars in the parking spaces. 

Two metered parking spaces between the MU Student Center and the Agriculture Building will be transformed into miniature parks as part of an event called PARK(ing) Day. 

Members of MU's Parks, Recreation and Tourism Graduate Student Association plan to fill parking spaces with sod, lawn chairs, umbrellas and yard games to create the temporary parks.

The association was started last fall; PARK(ing) Day is the organization's first advocacy event.

"We want to remind people the importance of parks," said Laura Thal, the organization's president. "It's important that we rethink how we plan urban space, and this is a fun way of advocating that."

PARK(ing) Day was created by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, to rethink the way public space is used and promote the need for changes to urban infrastructure, according to a news release.

"In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution," said Matthew Passmore, Rebar public-space advocate and artist. "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," Passmore said in the release.

The mini parks will be there from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday for students to stop by and learn about the importance of parks. Trail maps, tree brochures and other park-related information will be handed out.

Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs


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