PARK(ing) Day 2016 lights up Seattle

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PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to encourage thoughtful discussion around how public space is shared, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat.

This year, a team of volunteers from HEWITT chose to transform two parking spaces immediately outside our building at First and Stewart to show an alternative vision of how our city might look with more open space. Our installation was one of 50 parklets in the City of Seattle on Friday, September 16.

The colorful fringe-centric concept for our parklet was developed by a team of architects, landscape architects, and urban designers. They chose a variety of colors and materials to create a fun, activated space to pause, engage, connect, and reflect. Some park elements recall Seattle’s early history as a lumber town, its current iteration as a place where art and technology intersect, and its potential future with open spaces shared by pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles.

Reactions to the parklet ranged from polite disinterest to active engagement in the park. Many people chose to pause, to rest on the bench or stools, to have conversations with the team about open space and PARK(ing) Day, and ultimately to play with the fringe.

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Highlights of the HEWITT parklet were the Rune Bench and Harlie Stools loaned by Troy Nottingham at Tournesol Siteworks and the geometric sections of white turf generously donated by Steve McDaniel at ForeverLawn of Puget Sound LLC.