A blog for better streets and public spaces in Portland, Maine.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The a-park-ment

Today is Portland's first participation in the global Park(ing) Day event. Jess and I, with Morgan Law of Kaplan-Thompson Architects, built this "a-park-ment" on Fore Street. It's been a fun day with lots of well-wishers dropping by and enjoying the new public space:

The a-park-ment is meant to draw attention to the city's housing shortage by noting the fact that a single parking space occupies roughly as much real estate as a small studio apartment (our structure, pictured above, actually didn't use the full length of a standard parking space).

Old news to anyone who reads this blog, but if City Hall sold its surface public parking lots — just a small fraction of the city's government-owned parking — for redevelopment, the real estate could contain over 20 new buildings the size of the new Oak Street Lofts building in the Arts District, with nearly 800 new housing units, which would generate an additional $1.25 million every year in new tax revenue for the city.

Just sayin'.

I've written a more detailed report with a lot more photos of the city's six inaugural Park(ing) Day parks over at the LiveWork Portland blog.

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