Press Releases

Press Release – PARK(ing) Day – Reclaiming urban space, one space at a time

9th August 2016, George Town

Event details: George Town World Heritage Site, Saturday 17th September 2016, 7am to 7pm.

Registration open: August 1st to August 31st

About Park(ing) Day: PARK(ing) Day is a global event, a global day of action, where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to transform parking spaces into temporary public spaces for one day only. It is an event where members of the public have an opportunity to show how the urban environment can be shaped by its people. PARK(ing) Day is intended to celebrate people and their creativity.

History: PARK(ing) Day began in 2005 when Rebar, an art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has gained a following internationally and has evolved into a global movement with thousands of people around the globe—working independently of Rebar but guided by a common set of core principles having created hundreds of “PARK” installations that have generated conversations about how urban space is allocated.

Participants: 60 parking spaces will be occupied during Park(ing) Day, displaying creative use of space, shade and materials in the parking spaces. A wide range of activities took place in 2015, such as fitness classes, wood working demonstration, still life art class and so on. We look forward to seeing what happens this year.

Participant Prizes:  Grand prize of RM2,000, followed by 2nd prize of RM1,000 and 3rd prize for RM500 for the most creative use of space, most creative use of materials and shade. A panel of judges will decide the winners of grand prize, second prize and the third prize.

Public competition
BEST INSTAGRAM PICTURE wins RM500 #mygeorgetown #parkingday2016. The top 5 public account photos with the most likes by Monday 19th September 19:00 GMT+8 will be shortlisted and our judging panel will decide the winner who will receive RM500. 4 runners up will each receive a Park(ing) Day T shirt.[1]

Call: We are looking for people to come along and ‘activate’ these spaces, so if any street performers, story tellers, artists, anyone with a positive message to share, wants to come along and make the pop up parks into lively and interesting places then they are most welcome.

Why celebrate Park(ing) Day in George Town?: In urban areas around the world, inexpensive on-street parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution. The strategies and values that generate these conditions are no longer sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant urban human habitat.

Therefore, this event calls attention to the need for improved urban public space. In the George Town World Heritage Site there are 2,886 on-street parking spaces, measuring 8 feet by 18 feet, which is 144 sqft each. Added together this is almost 10 acres just in the inner city.[2]

Even a single space is significant, with most Penangites living in high rise apartments, ask yourself how many parking spaces is my living space? A 750sqft flat[3] is equal to just 5.2 parking spaces.

The more that urban space is allocated to parking and the car more generally, the less space is allocated to people. The streetscape in the World Heritage Site account for almost 120 acres, or 26% of the land area and this space is dominated by the car. Our townscape was never designed to carry such huge quantities of traffic, the streets were designed to accommodate all users, from pedestrians to cyclists to trishaws, but the arrival of the motor car has slowly changed this and people have been pushed to the margins.

What next: We would like PARK(ing) Day to spark conversations about how we value our urban spaces, about how we start to shift the priority from cars to people, but also how we resolve the growing need for car and motorcycle parking and how we all move around our city centre. How can we encourage people to park off street? How do we encourage people to use public transport to move around the city? So during PARK(ing) Day itself, Penang Institute will be conducting surveys with the people to capture their views, understand how they would like urban space to be prioritised and elicit ideas for improving mobility in our city centre.

Sub text: Park(ing) Day event is traditionally celebrated on the 3rd Friday of September for every year. However, following a business and pedestrian survey conducted in July 2015, many expressed reservations about celebrating on a Friday ranging from impact on customer parking, parking access for mosque and pedestrian ability to join the activities. It was therefore decided in conjunction with MBPP to move Park(ing) Day to the next day, Saturday 17th September.

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mygeorgetown is an initiative of the Penang Institute

For further information please contact either Stuart MacDonald or Christina Oon at Penang Institute

Penang Institute
10 Brown Road,
10350 George Town,
Penang, Malaysia.
Tel : (604) 228 3306
Fax : (604) 226 7042 |

The photographs on the following pages can be downloaded in soft copy from

[1] By submitting photos to this competition you agree to allow mygeorgetown to host these pictures on their website and use for non commercial purposes.

[2] The World Heritage Site is 460 acres.

[3] 750 sqft

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