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Pump the brakes: How PARK(ing) Day is changing this year

The annual, global event returns to Nashville on Sunday, Sept. 17. Instead of temporary designs, a portion of one East Nashville business will be permanently repurposed.

A graphic of the current patio space outside of Wilburn Street Tavern with specs and directions outlining expectations for design submissions.

Picture this outdoor space transformed — using these specs, of course.

Graphic via the Civic Design Center

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Buckle up — Nashville’s PARK(ing) Day will be more than a one-day affair this year.

Nashvillians have temporarily replaced downtown parking spots with vibrant art displays since 2012 to call attention to the lack of urban open space. Now, East Nashville will continue sparking that conversation beyond the event with the city’s first permanent parklet.

The Civic Design Center hosted a parklet design competition this summer to collect submissions for a year-round “tiny park” acting as Wilburn Street Tavern’s new patio. Organizers selected the winning design and Hoar Construction began working to make the 2D dream a 3D reality.

See the big reveal at the PARK(ing) Day Block Party on Sunday, Sept. 17 — near the corner of Wilburn and Meridian Street. The top 10 submissions will also be on display, plus:

  • Turnip Green Creative Reuse’s DIY tabletop parklet station
  • Street mini golf
  • A DJ and dance floor
  • Food by Bad Luck Burger Club + Wilburn Street Tavern

What’s this mean for the future?

The new parklet permit program and tactical urbanism permit under NDOT is the culmination of years of the Civic Design Center and community members’ advocacy efforts. The hope is additional local businesses and organizations are encouraged to transform street parking into more permanent usable space after seeing the effort in action.