For those unfamiliar, Park(ing) Day can be understood as “the gateway drug for urban transformation,” according to John Bela, and urbanist and one of the founders of Park(ing) Day. Park(ing) Day is an urbanist holiday of sorts on which parking spots are taken over with community-oriented installations to demonstrate the potential use of space less cars. Learn more about Park(ing) Day from this great, brief history from CityLab.

This year, VT MURP students continued this tradition and helped Crystal City’s Business Improvement District (BID) transform several parking spots to several imaginative parklets:

  • a lounge area serving smoothies/healthy snacks focusing on well-being for mothers;
  • a “Beach Oasis” where people could play games and relax;
  • a “Mind and Body Oasis & Zen Garden” with yoga area and chair massages; and
  • a “Learn and Play” where people could learn about urban heat island effect and climate change.

The students report that it was fun to help activate space that is usually reserved for vehicles. “It is always a good opportunity for planning students to work with local organizations in fun environment like Park(ing) Day,” said Jose Delcid.

Parklets were set up along Crystal Drive and on 23rd Street.

Thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Morton, VT MURP students — Melissa Cameron, Maggie Cooper, Jose Delcid, Trey Gordner, David Huaman, Owain James, and Priya Madrecki — and Crystal City BID, whose COO Rob Mandle is a alumni of VT MURP program!