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MURP Students Participate in PARK(ing) Day 2015

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September 18, 2015

Denver, CO – MURP students upped their PARK(ing) Day game this year, working with other student and community organizations to transform five parking spaces in Downtown Denver into temporary parklets and community gathering spaces. PARK(ing) Day, an international initiative, calls attention to just how much land area is dedicated to parking and highlights alternative uses for some of this space.

On Friday, September 18, students took over parking spots on Larimer and 14th Streets, filling them with rugs, planters, living room furniture, outdoor games, bike parking, and free coffee, among other things. Noticeably absent from the parking spaces: cars. MURP students representing the CU Denver American Planning Association Student Chapter (APAS) collaborated with BikeDenver and the CU-Denver American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Chapter to transform the parking spots near the College of Architecture and Planning Building downtown. Norris Design (a planning and landscape architecture firm) and AMBIT (a design firm) were among other Denver-based organizations that participated in PARK(ing) Day 2015.

MURP students Jenny Niemann and Maddie Keating, who coordinated MURP’s involvement in PARK(ing) Day 2015 noted in their call to action that Denver has a significant amount of “underutilized land devoted to parking, which not only wastes valuable downtown space, but also makes housing more expensive, produces added traffic congestion, and worsens environmental problems (Jeffrey Tumlin, Getting Parking Right in Denver).”

“PARK(ing) Day is a really great opportunity to engage with the public on parking issues” Maddie, a second-year MURP student, said. “It’s a great visual, hands-on way to start the discussion about alternative land uses and transportation models. It was really encouraging this year to see other parking spaces in Downtown Denver taken over by private firms.”

According to ParkingDay.org, PARK(ing) Day “is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. 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.”

For more coverage of PARK(ing) Day 2015 in Denver, check out StreetsBlog Denver’s article about the event.

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Photos by MURP student Robby Long.