INFORMATION CARD GIVEN OUT DURING PARK(ing) DAY  parkingday_card
PAUSE & PLAYPLAY TOOK THE PLACE OF A PARKED CAR ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2011 AS THE IMPROMPTU PLAYGROUND GROUP TOOK OVER A METERED PARKING SPACE IN THE BYWARD MARKET AS PART OF AN INTERNATIONAL EVENT KNOWN AS PARK(ing) DAY.THE INTENT WAS TO BUILD ON THE SUCCESS OF THE PREVIOUS INSTALLATIONS (SEE IMPROMPTU PLAYGROUND) AS WELL AS LOCATE OTTAWA IN A BROADER CONTEXT BY PARTICIPATING IN AN INTERNATIONAL EVENT.  A PARKING SPACE ON CLARENCE AT PARENT BECAME A PUBLIC SPACE TO SIT AND RELAX OR PLAY SOME HOPSCOTCH.

OVER THE COURSE OF THE AFTERNOON MANY PEOPLE STOPPED TO ENJOY THE INSTALLATION, EVEN TAKING TURNS PLAYING HOPSCTOCH.  THE POSITIVE FEEDBACK GARNERED FROM THE INSTALLATION PROVED THAT OTTAWAN’S HAVE THE ABILITY TO PLAY AT ANY AGE, AND PERHAPS, PLAY IS SOMETHING WE ALL NEED A LITTLE MORE OF.  ONE BY-LAW OFFICER EVEN EXPRESSED HIS SUPPORT OF THE PROJECT AND LAUGHED WHEN REALIZING THAT WE HAD BEEN PAYING FOR OUR PARKING SPOT THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON.

ONLY ONE PERSON BROUGHT UP THE FACT THAT THERE IS SO LITTLE ON-STREET PARKING IN THE BYWARD MARKET AND DOWNTOWN AREA, NOTING THE INCONVENIENCE THAT ONE OF THESE SPOTS WAS TAKEN BY A “PARK.”  SHE, HOWEVER, UNKNOWINGLY IDENTIFIED THE POINT OF THE PARK(ing) DAY WITH HER COMMENT—ARE PUBLIC SPACES BETTER OCCUPIED BY PARKED CARS? OR PARKS? OR ETC…?

PARK(ing) DAY IS AN “OPEN SOURCE” USER-GENERATED INVENTION CREATED BY INDEPENDENT GROUPS AROUND THE GLOBE WHO ADAPT THE PROJECT TO CHAMPION CREATIVE, SOCIAL OR POLITICAL CAUSES THAT ARE RELEVANT TO THEIR LOCAL URBAN CONDITIONS.  THE ORIGINAL PARK(ing) DAY WAS CREATED IN 2005 BY REBAR, A SAN FRANCISCO BASED ART AND DESIGN STUDIO.  THE PROJECT HAS BLOSSOMED INTO A WORLDWIDE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT: PARK(ing) DAY 2010 INCLUDED MORE THAN 800 “PARK” INSTALLATIONS IN MORE THAN 180 CITIES IN 30 COUNTRIES ON SIX CONTINENTS.  “IN URBAN CENTERS AROUND THE WORLD, INEXPENSIVE CURBSIDE PARKING RESULTS IN INCREASED TRAFFIC, WASTED FUEL AND MORE POLLUTION,” SAYS REBAR’S MATTHEW PASSMORE.  “THE PLANNING STATEGIES 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.”

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CHECK OUT OUR PRESS RELEASE

WORKERS FROM ADJACENT OFFICE BUILDING SHARING SOME LAUGHS PLAYING HOPSCOTCH
PHOTO: EMILY BRETT
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HOPSCOTCH ROUND 2
PHOTO: EMILY BRETT
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PROOF OF PAYMENT ON DISPLAY  DSCF0943
“PAUSE & PLAY” CONTRASTING THE AUSTERE PRESENCE OF THE AMERICAN EMBASSY  DSC_0037
TAKING THE TIME TO READ THE INFORMATION CARDS  DSC_0025
A SPACE FOR ANIMATED CONVERSATION OR LUNCH
PHOTO: EMILY BRETT
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WHAT WAS SAID ABOUT PAUSE AND PLAY:PARK(ing) DAY IN OTTAWA-GATINEAU (GREEN LIVING OTTAWA)
SUCCESSFUL PARK(ing) DAY IN OTTAWA (MODERN OTTAWA BLOG)
PARK(ing) DAY 2011 (BLOG22)
PARKS OR PARKING IN OTTAWA (yowLAB)

IMPROMPTU PLAYGROUND MEMBER SARAH GELBARD WAS INTERVIEWED LIVE FROM THE PARKLET BY ALAN NEAL ON CBC’S ALL IN A DAY.

September 2011. ByWard Market, Ottawa ON.
Self-funded and initiated project.

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