Portland, Maine

September 20, 2019

What is PARK(ing) Day?

Providing temporary public open space . . . one parking spot at at time.

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. 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. PARK(ing) Day was brought to Portland, Maine, in 2012 by Sarah Schindler. It is now stewarded by Treehouse Institute.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to how much public space is devoted to moving and storing cars and to demonstrate the need for more urban open space for people, not automobiles. We hope to generate 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!

– Businesses, designers, artists, architects, and citizens turn metered parking spaces into temporary public parks for the day. Customers can relax, members of the public can mingle, and people walking by can say “huh?”

– The hope is that these temporary park installations will foster conversation among citizens about our interactions with and access to public open space in the city, and the amount of publicly owned space occupied by cars that could perhaps be used for something else.

How does it work?

We’ve already received approval from the City to carry out this idea. We  just need you to:

  1. By Sept 11th, fill out this form, which will ask for:
    1. The name of the organization/business/individual creating the PARK(ing) spot
    2. The lead contact name for the event and that person’s email address and cell phone number
    3. The exact address of your spot (the closest building adjacent to the spot you plan to use or the cross streets at the nearest intersection). *Ideally, the space will be located in front of or close to your business / shop / office / home. If you plan to create a park in a space that is in front of a business that is not your own, please provide the business with a heads up that you’ll be out there on September 20.
    4. A brief description of your installation

2. By Sept 12th, download and fill out the HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT and email it to Ted Musgrave at the City of Portland

4. By Sept 13th, pay $25 (check payable to the City of Portland) to reserve your spot. Bring payment to the Portland Facilities Office at 212 Canco Road, whereupon you can pick up the No Parking Signs you’ll need.

5. On Sept 20th, post your “No Parking” signs in your designated spot no more than 24 hours before the event. So if you plan to begin your set up at 9 am on Friday, Sept 20th, try to post your signs at that location at 9 am on Thursday, Sept 19th.

6. On Sept 20th, set up your spot, invite passers-by, and have fun!

7. On Sept 20th, anything that is brought into the space needs to be removed at the end of the day – 5 pm, so that the space can again be used for parking.


Contact Eric Freeman ( if you have questions or want to chat.

Check out the Facebook event page for news and updates too.