Montclair’s Parking Day

Dresdner Robin sponsored Montclair’s celebration of PARK(ing) Day in September with an interactive “parklet” at 215 Glenridge Avenue. Designed to align with PARK(ing) Day’s mission of social interaction and urban land use, Dresdner’s parklet showed visitors how much space they would have if they left their cars at home, and included interactive art, games, and seating in two converted parking spots.

Dresdner Robin partnered with Pompton Lakes, NJ, artist, Michael Accardi, proprietor of Artastic! Art Academy, to bring the Montclair parklet design to life with a series of wooden silhouettes of children playing. One cut out was simply painted in black chalk, allowing parklet visitors to create their own art. The art installation formed the boundary of the parklet and shared a synthetic turf space with a cornhole game to encourage visitors to stop and play. Adjacent to the synthetic turf, there was a platform and small seating area, bordered with fall plants, pumpkins and hay bales. Site furniture was provided by Aristeia Metro and Ben Shaffer Recreation, and the synthetic turf was provided by SynLawn.

“We’re proud to be sponsoring Montclair’s PARK(ing) Day this year, working closely with the Montclair Center BID and Bike&Walk Montclair. Our unique design utilizes the limited amount of space by infusing elements of interactive art and activity into every square inch,” says Lauren Venin, a landscape architect at Dresdner Robin, who conceived and coordinated the parklet and who was on-site. “We are focusing on the value of shared activities to foster social interaction.”

These parklets, as the “parks in parking spaces” are called, encourage pedestrians to spend more time on the street and engage in spontaneous social interactions. PARK(ing) Day was launched in 2005 by the Rebar Group, Inc., as an “open-source experiment in reclaiming public space.”