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We are reclaiming urban public space for people on PARK(ing) Day, Friday, September 16, 2011 from 9am to 5pm.  The designed “PARK(ing) spaces”, metered parking spaces converted into temporary green parks, will be located in front of Southport Grocery, 3552 North Southport Avenue.  The ‘park’ will feature a bicycle repair station, live music, and a lawn for dining and enjoying the day.

In 2009 and 2010, moss Design converted parking spaces into temporary public space, which will be expanded this year to highlight the need for bike infrastructure and open space in Lakeview.  Earlier this year moss Design unveiled a sustainable master plan, prepared for the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and SSA 27.  Part of the plan was a call for more unique and accessible public open space.  This year’s PARK(ing) Day theme is a “Bicycle Comfort Station” featuring free food, live music, bike parking and repair, and relaxation areas.  Think of it as the mini-mart of the future.
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The Lakeview Area Master Plan (LAMP) will be revealed tonight, but there is one element that I think deserves special attention.

When research began on the project we were out surveying neighborhood inventory, like bike racks, streetscape environments, facade conditions, and public space.  After investigating we found that Lakeview contains only .2 acres of open space per 1000 residents (The ideal ratio is 2 acres per 1000 people).  This notion was reinforced during the public open houses and interview sessions when residents cried out for more public open space.  So where, in a dense, developed urban neighborhood do we find available land for public space?  We thought, let’s look for space on top of things and under things! Read the rest of this entry »

We had a magical PARK(ing) Day installation yesterday!  It was great to see all of our fellow PARKers, and showed that we can do more with the right-of-way than simply store automobiles.  Proving once again, parks are fun, parking is not fun.

We could not have done this without our wonderfully generous sponsors; Southport Grocery, Uncle Dans’s Outdoor Store, Grand Street Gardens, Lake Street Landscape Supply, Farmers’ Market Nursery, Sam & Willy’s, and Alderman Tom Tunney.  Thank you so much for all of your support.

Photos and media coverage inside.

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Our PARK(ing) Day installation was a rousing success.  What was once a dearth of human interaction sprouted into a buzzing public park for the day.  Imagine if this one day turned into a week, months, years.  A much better use of our shared public space.  For more, read our parking treatise here.

radioIn case you missed our interview on this morning’s 848 with Allison Cuddy, here is the audio

More press on us here;

WBEZ blog (with video), Gapers Block, Timeout Chicago

PARK(ing) Day 2009Chicago contains roughly 8,000 miles of surface roads, amounting to 77,575 acres of pavement dedicated to the driving and parking of automobiles.  Automotive real estates further balloons when you consider the private parking lots, garages, and alleys.  Comparatively, Chicago dedicates 7,300 acres to public parks.

The streets of Chicago are typically inhospitable to anything but cars, choking out pedestrians, funneling stormwater runoff to inappropriate locations, contributing to air pollution, and obstructing a genial atmosphere amongst the users.

Imagine the possibilities if streets served more than just a single automotive purpose.  A place where, in addition to transportation, water was recharged, food was grown, and people were present.  On Friday, September 18, from 9a-6p at 3552 North Southport Avenue, moss, along with collaborators Stand Design, will transform a surface street parking corral into public space for PARK(ing) Day.  Reclaiming the public realm for the use of all of the public.  Read the rest of this entry »

McCall Park - portlandOne the best urban open spaces in one of the best US cities is McCall Riverfront Park (named for the former Governor of Oregon) along the the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.  Aside from its splendid view and close proximity of downtown Portland, it is what brought it to existence that makes it remarkable.   Read the rest of this entry »

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