Baltimore, Maryland (September 8, 2016) — On Friday, September 16th 2016, artists, activists, urban designers and citizens in cities around the globe will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called “PARK(ing) Day.” Locally, Mahan Rykiel Associates Landscape Architects of Baltimore will be participating for a sixth year, and invite visitors to their collaborative happening located in the Mondawmin Mall Parking Lot adjacent to the Metro Station at 2401 Liberty Heights Avenue.
In the spring of 2015, tension and unrest erupted in Baltimore and it became the center of national media attention. Now, we’re bringing the attention back — this time, to showcase the power of creative collaboration. Together with our partners, Mahan Rykiel’s 2016 PARK(ing) Day event will transform an underutilized area between the Mall and the Metro Station into a public open space, where all are welcome and invited to enjoy local food & music, engage with one another to create public art, and share personal stories to Open Up Baltimore.
From 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, MRA’s Social Impact Studio will be taking their theme, “Open Up Baltimore” to the people. MRA is coordinating their effort with Gensler, Ziger/ Snead Architects, Mondawmin Mall-GGP, Morgan State University, Parks & People Foundation, Baltimore Office of Sustainability, MTA, MICA, The Land of Kush, Dovecote Café, Tha Flower Factory, and Brick & Board.
The Mahan Rykiel 2016 PARK(ing) Day event will create a dynamic outdoor environment at Mondawmin Mall for one day to highlight the value of parks and open space. It will bring energy to an underutilized asphalt surface adjacent to the Mall and Metro Transit Station (on Mondawmin property). It will feature opportunities for the community to relax, and engage. The design will use recycled and sustainable materials that create an inviting and green place to enjoy. The installation will provide pedestrians walking to and from the transit station a new look at Mondawmin Mall — showcasing its role as a vital community anchor in west Baltimore. Furthermore, the event will broadcast the strength and beauty of the community — giving the city and the world a glimpse into the power of creative collaboration.
MRA collaborated with many firms and local companies to craft the Park(ing) Day design. Plant materials and resources were generously donated by Ruppert Nurseries and Chapel Valley Landscape Company.
Elsewhere in in the city, AIABaltimore is teaming up with local firms, organizations and businesses to create PARK(ing) Day parklets in Mount Vernon.
Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement that has, included more than 975 “PARK” installations in more than 162 cities, 35 countries, and six continents. The event challenges people to rethink the way streets are used, calling attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out! A global map of all participating cities is available on the PARK(ing) Day website, at http://parkingday.org/.
Release courtesy Mahan Rykiel Associates Landscape Architects