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September 21, 2018

Puppies, skate parks, and pink umbrellas: #PARKingDay in Philadelphia

Friday's event was all about pairing small spaces with big ideas

Parking Public Spaces
PARKingDayPHL PARKing Day PHL/Twitter

A very good PARKing dog.

For the uninitiated, the streets of Philadelphia might’ve been a bit more whimsical than expected on Friday as the city celebrated the 14th annual PARK(ing) Day.

PARK(ing) Day, which began in 2005 in San Francisco, happens every third Friday in September. Artists, activists and everyday citizens across the country turn metered parking spaces into temporary public places, illustrating two things: how much valuable public space in cities is spent on cars, and what can be accomplished with tiny spaces.

RELATED: Here's what Philly's first day back to school looked like | PHOTOS: Third annual Philly Free Streets

Philadelphia, a city which acknowledged Thursday just how crowded Center City has become thanks to vehicles, celebrated in a big way.

We’ve assembled a sampling of the best displays below.

DAVID RUBIN Land Collective, a Philadelphia-based architecture and urban design studio, created an enormous traffic cone in Old City:

Space 1026, a gallery and studio space, set up a mini skate park near the convention center (right next to traffic!)

WRT Philadelphia set up an impossible-to-miss house of pink umbrellas across from the Midtown III:

A nice Chaise lounge, a hip checkers set, and floral seating decorated more Old City streets:

Architecture firm Looney Ricks Kiss brought puppies to Chestnut, turning it into BARK(ing) Day. We’ve got to say, this was a pretty strong move:

Conrad Benner from Streets Dept. teamed up with Mural Arts for a Get Out The Vote-style pop-up event, where you could actually register to vote in this November’s midterms:

The Center for Art in Wood had a very hands-on approach to PARK(ing) Day: you could write down a wish on a block of wood, and then use a planer to add your wood shaving to a big paper ram.

Philadelphia Department of Planning & Development got in on the fun by creating an enormous board game near Logan Circle:

The SEPTA parklet is a pretty strong replica of your favorite bus (sans bed bugs):

J Davis, another architecture firm (wonder why they had so much fun today?), built a couch of used CDs:

See any good parklets or street displays in the city today that we missed? Drop a link in the comments or send me an email at

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