Park(ing) Day Joburg 2014

Janine Adank contributes a photo essay on the importance of Park(ing) Day for Joburg.
The mission of Park(ing) Day, worldwide, is to highlight the need for more urban open space in the inner city. The intention is that individuals will join forces to alter metered parking bays into makeshift public places, forcing cars out and people in.

Park(ing) Day allows individuals to devise spatial interventions that start the discussion on challenging governing principles of what urban space should, in fact, be. In doing so, we ultimately need to question the ownership of these spaces and the right to the city. What urban space is privately owned? Who has the right to appropriate space in the metropolis?

Park(ing) Day allows citizens of all class and creed to actively contribute to the reinvention and appropriation of the city and in doing so to participate in a global conversation.
Ideally, the interventions will encourage citizens to rethink their immediate environment and to critically engage with the spaces around them, particularly insofar as those spaces are designed with cars in mind.

With a collective vision we can work with the city’s appropriators and “dissolve the boundaries between public and private space, thereby reclaiming urban public space back to its rightful owner, the public.” (Tulke. J, 2013)

Particularly with Johannesburg’s background of spatial injustice it is vital that we increase participation of this event, engage with and continue to contribute to the dialogue of what urban space should entail, in order to move forward as a city.

Park(ing) Day is particularly important in a car-centred Johannesburg, where the private motor vehicle remains dominant and encroaches on the urban narrative of the city. Exposure to such tactical urbanism will encourage the walkability of the city, thus work towards overcoming the collective fear of the public realm.
Tulke. J, 2013, Aesthetics of Crisis
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