HHF Transforms Parking Spots Into Public Spaces!

August 19, 2016
HHF Planners' 2015 PARK(ing) Day Design-Build

HHF Planners’ 2015 PARK(ing) Day Design-Build.

By: Matt Hom and Robyn Sweesy

There’s a new park appearing in downtown Honolulu on September 16, but it’ll be gone the next day. What, a disappearing park?

For a second year, HHF Planners (HHF) is celebrating PARK(ing) Day by transforming a metered parking space in front of Dillingham Transportation Building on Bishop Street into a temporary public open space.

PARK(ing) Day began in 2005 when an art and design studio rolled out lush green sod and placed a shade tree and wooden bench in a public park stall in downtown San Francisco. This simple two-hour installation grew into the international event known as PARK(ing) Day, which occurs every year on the third Thursday of September and brings awareness to the quality of the urban environment for its inhabitants.

Parks, plazas, and appealing (yet functional) public spaces are essential for vibrant cities because they provide gathering and relaxation areas. However, in urban centers like Honolulu, the majority of public space is designated for the movement and storage of vehicles. Feeding the meter for a parking stall allows one to obtain a short-term lease on this valuable urban real estate, and PARK(ing) Day provides an opportunity to reimagine a parking stall as an engaging public amenity.

In the same way that HHF carefully considers the unique needs of communities in which they work, HHF’s 2015 parklet highlighted a significant local planning issue: How can Hawai‘i recycle and reuse its rubbish instead of sending it to the landfill? Rather than purchase new construction materials, the team collected recycled pallets and discarded shelving and repurposed them to build parklet furniture, walls, and a bike rack. Reusing pallet wood is an especially appropriate solution to O‘ahu’s resource issues as so many of the island’s goods are imported on pallets that are usually discarded.

With creativity and teamwork, the 2016 HHF parklet will demonstrate how recycled and discarded materials can transform a parking space into an engaging public place. Come join us!

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HHF Parklet Info:
Date: September 16, 2016
Time: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Location: Diamond Head side of Bishop Street, between Nimitz and Queen Street

The 2015 Parklet, all lit up.

The 2015 Parklet, alight.

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