Parking Day LA

Conceived by REBAR, a San Francisco-based art collective, PARK(ing) Day is a one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces— temporary public parks—for one day.

When Lehrer Architects LA heard of this event, the designers decided to have an “after hours” internal design competition.  The staff immediately started putting ideas in motion working collaboratively in the RaD (Research and Development) Room, a workshop at the LA office.  For some it was an engineering problem; for some it was a political statement; for others it was a space-making exercise.

The final design concept, entitled “99 Gallons Per Mile,” was to visualize the carbon footprint of a modern sport utility vehicle, titled 99 Gallons Per Mile.  To complete this, the LA staff designed and built the void of a typical SUV, to scale, out of FSC certified melamine.  The final product also had to be mobile, allowing for off-site installations. The team embraced this challenge by designing a panelized system that could quickly be bolted together the morning of the event, and for subsequent events.  To truly visualize the carbon footprint, the team came up with an idea to measure the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the vehicle every mile.  Various internet sources gave the approximate figure of 1.57 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile.  To visualize this, the LA Team converted pounds to volume which fills 99 one-gallon balloons.

The design unveiled on September 21st, 2007, in front of LA’s office in Silverlake, will be a day all staff and friends of LA will not forget.  Joined by friends, family, passersby and media alike, the design team encouraged all to take a seat, in the LA designed red lounge chairs, and to contemplate the message.  So far, the media coverage for LA’s design includes: Architect Magazine Online, The Architects Newspaper, Current TV and the Los Angeles Times.

2007    Sept    LA Times    Newspaper    Lisa Boone    Promoting green space, one city parking meter at a time
2007    Sept/Oct    Architect Online    website    Stephani L. Miller    Park(ing) Day Celebrates, Promotes City Parks
2007    Oct    The Architects Newspaper    Newspaper    Sam Lubell    Car Parks
2007    October    Current TV    Televsion    Alex Reiter, Producer    Parking Day
2007    Fall/Winter    Overview - Franklin Hills Residents Association    Newspaper    Bruce Carroll    LA Ponders Paucity of Parks & Parking
2008    January    website    Michael J. Crosbie     Sustainability: Takin' It to the Streets
2008    September    Los Angeles Downtown News    Newspaper    Sam Hall Kaplan    Beauty at Curb Level
2008    October    The Architects Newspaper    Newspaper    Alissa Walker    Gimme Shelter