News & Resources

Placemaking Project: Cambridge Parking Day

The Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance recognizes placemaking initiatives across the Commonwealth. This project is one of many that were featured at our 2013 conference. See other placemaking examples

PARK(ing) Day aims to encourage the creative re-use of parking spaces in an attempt to demonstrate just how much space cars take up, and what could be programmed in their place. In Cambridge, PARK(ing) Day began in 2010 as the takeover of one parking space. In 2012 we took over 16 spots and created such diverse programming as bicycle-powered spin art and mini city-building. In 2013 we decided to up the ante, and worked with 20 entities to take over 36 parking spots. We created a mini-golf course, a micro-model house, outdoor yoga classrooms, Corn Hole courts, voter registration booths, and much more. Building community was the name of the game, and the game was won this year.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual international event where residents, artists and activists come together to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

Contact: Jennifer Lawrence, City of Cambridge,