Park(ing) Day Johannesburg
Park(ing) Day Joburg Contributes: Opening the Debate for Public Space and Mobility in the City
The Johannesburg Inner City Charter says “ International comparison suggest an acceptable benchmark of 2 hectares of quality public open space per 1000 residents in dense urban settings. By this measure, the Inner City of Johannesburg has a severe dearth of parks and playgrounds (…)”. However, it is not acceptable to say there is a lack of public open space in Johannesburg inner city. It rather should be said that almost all the public open space in Johannesburg Inner City is being used by the usage and storage of cars.
A similar argument could be introduced for many other areas in the city. Questioning the creation and allocation of public space in Johannesburg highlights severe issues of spatial (in)justice.
Park(ing) Day is a global event that transforms metered parking bays into temporary public spaces to explore the range of possible activities that could take place on the space currently taken by parked cars. The temporary Park(ing) spaces highlight the need of more urban open space and attempts to provoke a critical examination of the values that generate the form of urban public space.
Building on the experience from last year Johannesburg’s first Park(ing) Day, where several spots in Juta Street (Braamfontein) hosted a park, live music, public talks, a self-built furniture workshop, photo screening on the walls of the neighbouring buildings, live music, a game of chess, an inflatable swimming pool, etc. this year Parking Day Johannesburg Team want to grow bigger and more inclusive. An open call has been made in Johannesburg for people to join the event and host their own Park(ing) bays in the city with the aim to populate the city with as many Park(ing) bays as possible to expand the message of the event and extend its reach to the people of Johannesburg.
This year, Park(ing) Day will take place on the 19th of September all over the world. Johannesburg citizens are invited to join and visit the Park(ing) Bays that will be mostly located in Johannesburg inner city and join a route that will encourage people to move from one spot to the other using public transport, bicycles or walking. The inclusion of this route aims to encourage debate around topics of mobility, connectivity and accessibility in an ever sprawling suburban Johannesburg, where 42% of commuters use private vehicle transport and another 42% using mini-bus taxi’s to get to work each day.
parkingdayjohannesburg.wordpress.com/ for Park(ing) Day Johannesburg 2013 activities and details
www.facebook.com/groups/495491073878710/ to participate on the event (make your own Park(ing) bay or join some group)
https://www.facebook.com/events/842088519155007/ to join the event
Written by Park(ing) Day Johannesburg Team
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