Parking spaces as fun places for a day

One of last year's PARK(ing) Day initiatives was this "marketplace meets garden" set up in parking spaces at Scotts Road.
One of last year's PARK(ing) Day initiatives was this "marketplace meets garden" set up in parking spaces at Scotts Road.PHOTO: NATALIE TAN

URA and HDB invite creative uses of carparks for worldwide PARK(ing) Day on Sept 18

On Sept 18, many parking spaces across the island will be transformed into parks of a different kind, with features such as mini workshops, benches and pop-up gardens.

The event is part of the worldwide PARK(ing) Day movement which turns individual parking spots into temporary public spaces.

This is the second year that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Housing Board (HDB) are supporting the initiative.

Interested participants can register to transform any URA coupon-paid parking space - in locations such as Geylang, Pioneer, Woodlands and the central business district - or selected HDB coupon-paid areas in Tiong Bahru.

The URA is encouraging applicants to cluster near others in popular central locations such as Bugis, "to generate footfall and a more celebratory atmosphere".

Last year, 52 fun spots were created in 88 parking spaces by community groups, local businesses, students and other individuals.

These included a mini kampung with food and games in Geylang, and a marketplace-meets-garden at Scotts Road.

"The creativity and the effort they put in to create their 'PARKs' were very impressive," said URA chief executive officer Ng Lang. "The public also had fun visiting and interacting with the PARKs. This year, we hope more people will join PARK(ing) Day and help spread the green message in a fun way."

Among those planning to take part again this year is One Maker Group, a consortium of six companies. Last year, it set up a workshop in two parking spaces along Waterloo Street, near its National Design Centre premises.

Passers-by could watch demonstrations of soldering or use a sticker-cutting machine.

This year, the group is looking at six to eight spaces, instead, for activities ranging from welding and wood-working to 3D-printing, said director Veerappan Swaminathan.

"Singapore is not a very hands-on place, so we're trying to bring the 'maker movement' closer to the people," he added.

Registration opened yesterday and continues till Sept 14.

Participants whose ideas are accepted will get a specially designed coupon to reserve their desired spot - with parking fees waived.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2015, with the headline 'Parking spaces as fun places for a day'. Print Edition | Subscribe