Calgary’s downtown core is filled with both high-rises and businesses large and small, creating traffic for hundreds of commuters heading to work or just to get a bite to eat. But on Sept. 21, some of the city’s residents slowed down to show what can be done to some of Calgary’s smallest public spaces for the third annual International PARKing Day.

Calgary celebrates third annual International PARKing Day in the city’s downtown core. Video produced by Stephanie Hagenaars.

Hundreds of people gathered on Calgary’s Centre Street to see the transformation of parallel parking stalls into usable, temporary social spaces. Local designers and artists spent hours creating places to relax or play with their dogs, children’s playgrounds, spots to roast marshmallows and outlets to showcase art.

Rocio Graham, a local artist, endured the cold and windy weather, using her space to honour her flowers through her art.

“I felt this was an opportunity for me to engage with the public in a different way,” says Graham. “I really like the idea of converting the public spaces into places of art or community.”

PARKing Day began in 2005 in San Francisco by Rebar Art & Design Studio (REBAR) who turned a metered parking stall into a temporary public park in the city’s downtown. Since then, it has turned into a global and annual open-source event, inviting creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurial ideas to explore how large cities can utilize small spaces.

Editor: Richie Nguyen | 

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