The third Friday of September has become a popular day among urbanists and activists over the past decade. This day, known as Park(ing) Day, created by San Francisco group Rebar Studio, is an opportunity to reimagine urban spaces. What if that parking lot could instead… be a park? Within this thinking, Nabolagshager challenged their youth programme, Oslo Living Lab, to transform the seldom-used street outside their high school into a space their peers and nearby residents could enjoy. The result was an exciting street party that helped the community rethink the way the city used this public space.
The event was planned and executed by 13 youth from Hersleb High School in central Oslo. The youth wanted to focus on activities that would keep their peers around as the school day ended. This included plenty of culturally-relevant food provided by local businesses, music, places to socialise, workshops and activities, such as a table tennis tournament, smoothie bikes and quiz competitions. The event also aimed to attract area residents on their way home from work, with youth inviting those walking by with plates of food. Oslo Living Lab had positive evaluations of the event and the attendance.
The event was part of the international project “PlaceCity - Placemaking for Sustainable, Thriving Cities” that aims, in Oslo, to empower youth to improve the public spaces around their high school. Through workshops, events and activities, Nabolagshager and partners are equipping students with knowledge, tools, infrastructure and resources to be active Placemakers in their community.
If you would like to organise a Park(ing) Day event in your own community, you can find the free manual here with everything you need to know!