Transforming downtown Nashville parking spaces into mini parks

Downtown parklet | Photo via Civic Design Center

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What if Nashville’s metered parking spaces were transformed into parks?

On Fri., Sept. 17 they will be. Officially known as PARK(ing) Day, the global initiative invites citizens, artists + activists to collaborate and transform metered parking spaces into temporary public gathering areas to bring awareness to the need for more urban open space.

All are welcome to claim a spot (utilizing this interactive map) + decorate however they please. From a “poolside” oasis to a trendy mini-bistro, the sky’s (or… street’s?) the limit for the setup of your own “parklet.” Bonus: there’s a Golden Cone award up for grabs.

Pick a parklet location via Civic Design Center’s interactive map | Image via Civic Design Center

While these mini-parks are fun, they don’t stay long, and the Civic Design Center is hoping to change that.

Yesterday, the center held a Skyline Social event where business owners gathered to claim more public sidewalk space that would otherwise be out of budget. The center is utilizing Davidson County’s extension of sidewalk cafe permits to partner with businesses, designers + builders who are capable of maintaining long-term parklets

These spaces, which will be used and maintained for up to 6 months after PARK(ing) Day, are part of the organization’s initiative to normalize community-centric public areas as a major part of Nashville’s streetscaping plans. 

Businesses and community members can learn more about short-term + long-term parklet spaces here.