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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tell me what you want from Reinventing Parking (taking stock)

It is one month since I launched Reinventing Parking and now seems like a good moment to take stock of how the blog is going.

If you are new here, scroll to the bottom of this post to explore some of the popular posts so far. Otherwise, read on.

This blog has a purpose which is not just about getting a large audience (so you won't find funny 'parking fail' videos here ... or not very often anyway). But of course I am pleased that the audience is growing steadily with over 200 subscribers so far.
 
Nevertheless, it is time to ASK YOU what you want from this blog.
  • Is the blog relevant to your location? I can't write about every specific place every week but I hope most readers will find something of interest even in items from other continents. Am I correct? How could I make it more relevant to you? What are the burning parking issues where you are?
  • What parking policy questions are you most curious about? Have I tackled them yet? Please suggest topics for me to cover (or to find a guest blogger to cover).
  • Why do you care about parking? (I assume you do or you wouldn't be reading)
  • Tell me who you are via comment or email. Am I reaching urban planners or transport planners in government, municipalities or in private practice? Are most of you researchers or students? Are Reinventing Parking readers in non-profits or community organisations? Are you in the for-profit parking industries? Are you activists?
  • Thanks to everyone who has already sent me tip-offs for events, publications, new studies and news items to cover. Please keep them coming.
  • Thanks to everyone who has commented. But there aren't very many of you yet! Tell me what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong by commenting on this post or emailing me (see the link at the top-right on the home page).

Please share the word about Reinventing Parking!
  • If you enjoy Reinventing Parking or find it useful, please stop to think of two or three people you know who might also benefit from it. Send them a message to tell them!
  • By the way, if your contacts are in China, the site may be blocked to them. But you can invite them to subscribe by email with this link: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=ReinventingParking.
  • Do you have a blog or website on a related topic (eg urban planning, architecture, urbanism, urban transport, sustainable cities, public transport, etc)? Please link to me! I will try to reciprocate (if your site meets my guidelines) and link to at least your parking-related posts or sections.  Many thanks to the bloggers who have already linked here. Thanks especially to those who have written warm recommendations. Examples include: Human Transit, Market Urbanism, PCI Parking blog, Streetsblog Network, PT's parking blog and others.
  • I tweet on urban transport issues, with a strong emphasis on parking. So follow me on twitter and retweet me when I hit the spot for you.

Footway parking was a popular post. This example is in Manila.
The following posts have been particularly popular so far. If you are a new reader, they might be a good place to start:


PS. I am about to leave for a two-week holiday to see family and friends in Australia, so posting may  be a little lighter and briefer than usual. (But look out for the first guest post, coming soon from Carlos Pardo of Colombia, who will share his insights on Bogotá's dramatic parking reforms under Mayor Enrique Peñalosa in the late 1990s.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Provoked by PARK(ing) Day

Friday's International PARK(ing) Day for 2010 was 'provoking' in more ways than one.

PARK(ing) Day came to Hangzhou, China for the first time this year. Photo from helina lass at Park(ing)Day Hangzhou 2010

It has been declared a great success by its global organisers. I agree. I love this event for the way it makes people think again about something they usually take for granted - on-street parking space

What is International PARK(ing) Day anyway?
PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate 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 (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!
These days, most PARK(ing) Day events have official permission. Nevertheless, a number faced problems with local bureaucracies, for example in Berlin and Brussels.

But why should special permission be necessary? This may seem a 'stupid question' but it made me stop and think. Keep reading for more reflections on PARK(ing) Day that start with this stupid question.