PARK(ing) Day 2019

Everything in my life seems to be tied into walkability and cities right now — so I was thrilled to be a part of PARK(ing) Day this year!

PARK(ing) Day is an international initiative that showcases the different ways public space can be used in cities, by turning parking spaces into parklets. On September 20, 2019, Emmy Wyatt and I exhibited "Walking in Cities" -- a way to collect research related to an MRU capstone project, rooted in tactical urbanism.

We spent the day in Kensington, speaking to passersby about their transportation habits and their favourite cities in the world. Oh, and drank a lot of coffee. What a perfect day!

Some key insights and moments from the day:

  • People who live in central neighbourhoods LOVE walking.

  • People often feel guilt around driving, when talking about different transportation modes.

  • We met an older couple that moved downtown 23 years ago — they started walking and haven’t stopped since!

  • There was a wide demographic range, including lots of kids and adorable dogs.

  • People spent the longest amount of time on Board #1 choosing their favourite city in the world.

  • We didn’t encounter any negative comments directed at our exhibit, everyone was so kind and wanted to contribute their own thoughts.

We will be sorting through the data collected over the next few weeks and analyzing the patterns and major insights.

Of course, being at PARK(ing) Day in Kensington had the potential to skew the data collected in two ways: 1. because of the centrality of the neighbourhood and 2. because of the types of people attending the event (aka people who use public/active transport modalities). On that note, we would love to conduct this same project in another Calgary neighbourhood in the suburbs! Message me if you want to collaborate or know a community who might.

Read more about Calgary's 4th annual PARK(ing) Day event!

Photos by the fabulous and fantastic Emmy Wyatt — find her here!