ReBar is a San Francisco based architectural activists who create work "situated in the domains of environmental installation, urbanism and absurdity." They're perhaps best known as the masterminds behind Park(ing) Day, a worldwide event that transforms urban parking spaces into micro green spaces.
Park(ing) Day started when the then upstart organization transformed a single metered parking space into a small stretch of verdant lawn, complete with park bench. Four years later, Park(ing) Day is now a global phenomenon. Now ReBar have launched a new website to expand their global urban intervention program. Part instruction book, part social network, the new Park(ing) Day website has been designed to "facilitate sharing the collective knowledge and experience of participants worldwide."
What's amazing though, is that Park(ing) Day became an international event without a website like this. The idea of reclaiming urban pavement is so powerful, people were moved to imitate it on their own. It spread virally with barely any assistance from the initiators. Quite literally, grass-roots urbanism—open-source planning where change comes at the cost of a quarter (Ok, a few dozen quarters are probably needed to keep the meter maids at bay, but you get the idea).
The site offers an interactive map feature for users to mark the location of their parks, a discussion forum, and individual pages for users to discuss and promote their park. And coming soon: The Official Park(ing) Day E-Book, like a modern equivalent of Ant Farm's Inflatocookbook. A friendly guide to disrupting the urban fabric with pirate landscaping for all those people who want to create their own patch of green for some urban bocce or croquet.
This year's Park(ing) Day is September 18.