Parking(ing) Day Highlights from Washington, DC

Park(ing) Day scenes from September 15, 2023, in Washington, DC / image: Alexandra Hay

Park(ing) Day is an annual, “global experiment in remixing, reclaiming and reprogramming vehicular space for social exchange, recreation and artistic expression.” The focus of this year’s event is pollinators, so ASLA decided to buzz around town to see the parklets popping up around DC.

Our first stop was the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (HU-MS2), where National ASLA partnered with the school and Jeff Holzer, ASLA, from the Potomac Chapter, to host a week of activities, including a mini course on landscape architecture, a walking tour of the Howard University campus, designed by African American landscape architect David Williston, and a design charrette. Students sketched their ideas for a pollinator-themed parklet and then constructed a parklet on campus on September 15. The parklet included flowers, a gaming station, lemonade, and a sound station set to 500 Hz, a frequency that attracts pollinators.

HU-MS2 students assemble their parklet. / image: Alexandra Hay

HU-MS2, a leading STEM school in Washington, DC, is the only HBCU to host a public charter middle school on campus, demonstrating their commitment to creating a pipeline to STEM careers for adolescents. This collaboration is especially significant in light of landscape architecture’s designation as a STEM discipline.

The parklet was right on the Quad, by Howard University’s Founders Library. / image: Alexandra Hay

Across DC, nine other parklets were organized for Park(ing) Day 2023. See the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) website for the full list and an interactive map.

DDOT’s Traffic Engineering and Signals Division was distributing information on the 11th Street NW Bus Priority Project to install bus-only lanes and upgrade bike lanes, along with some Open Streets swag. / image: Alexandra Hay
The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) made Park(ing) Day a part of their Lotus Festival of Food and Culture with their extension of Chinatown Park. / image: Alexandra Hay
The Public Service Commission at 1361 U Street NW / image: Alexandra Hay
DDOT’s Neighborhood Planning branch & 930 Club at 800 V Street NW / image: Alexandra Hay
On 8th Street SE: Oehme, van Sweden Landscape Architecture | OvS in coordination with Taoti Creative, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Barracks Row Main Street, and the Capitol Hill BID / image: Alexandra Hay
Park(ing) Day prep
image: Alexandra Hay
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s collage station / image: Alexandra Hay

DC is also home to a few permanent parklet installations, including one on the 1800 block of M Street NW installed by the Golden Triangle BID through the Streets for People grant program.

One of the Golden Triangle BID’s GLDN+ Parklets / image: Alexandra Hay
image: Alexandra Hay

Stay tuned to ASLA social media for many more Park(ing) Day highlights!

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