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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Campus

College of Architecture makes Park(ing) a bit easier


parking day mockup

Park(ing) Day will be held in metered spaces in Lot 19E. | Photo courtesy of Gabriela Espinosa

Student organizations from the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture will be creating a temporary park space to relax in on Friday, Sept. 19.

Park(ing) Day, which will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., is a national event devoted to promoting open spaces in a city environment, which fifth-year architecture student and event coordinator Gaby Espinosa said is essential in a place like Houston.

“Sometimes, we forget how necessary it is to have places to hang out with our friends and our pets,” Espinosa said. “We’re trying to get people to view urban spaces like parking lots in a different way.”

The parks will be constructed on metered spaces in Lot 19E, which is accessible on Calhoun Road, throughout Friday. They will then be moved to the lawn in front of the College of Architecture for one week so students can continue to use them.

“Architecture is about working for the community and creating spaces for the community,” Espinosa said. “This project is getting members of our college community together to create spaces that people will hopefully enjoy.

The College of Architecture will showcase two park designs — one from the architecture fraternity Alpha Rho Chi and the other from student organizations including Student Council and the American Institute of Architecture Students. The groups will be giving out free lemonade to all who attend.

Park(ing) Day is part of a national initiative to promote more open city spaces. Beginning in San Francisco in 2005, the event has expanded all around the world, including Madagascar and South Korea, according to its website. Since the first Park(ing) Day, participants have created numerous community initiatives and projects, such as health clinics, educational demonstrations and urban farms.

“We really want this to be a successful event,” Espinosa said. “We want to attract as many people as possible. This is the first time that this event has been brought to the school since it started.”

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