On Friday, 18 September 2015, the Greater Tygerberg Partnership and Nal’ibali will transform an everyday parking bay into an outdoor library and reading space. As part of a broader international movement, led locally by Open Streets Cape Town, the library will be one of several transformations of parking bays across the city.
International Park(ing) Day is celebrated on 18 September each year to transform parking spaces into temporary public places or “PARK(ing)” spaces. Across the globe, citizens, non-profit organisations, artists and activists use this day to showcase the potential and possibilities of rethinking parking spots to enhance community spaces and community spirit.
“We are proud and excited to be bringing International Parking Day to Bellville,” says Lauren Uppink Calderwood of the Greater Tygerberg Partnership. “On 18 September we will be turning a parking spot in Teddington Street into a green oasis where people can come and relax on our urban lawn and browse books as part of a pop-up library being run by the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign”.
Working together with the Greater Tygerberg Partnership, Nal’ibali has donated 200 books in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa for members of the community to come and select. The campaign will also be giving away free story cards for people to take home with them and enjoy with their families. In addition, the campaign will be recording stories from members of the public at the parking space for entry into its current multilingual storytelling competition called Story Bosso.
“There are countless stories to be told and shared within our communities,” says Esther Etkin, Campaign Manager for Nal’ibali, which uses reading and storytelling to spark children’s potential. “We are looking forward to using International Park(ing) Day as an opportunity to source these stories direct from the streets of Cape Town. And the best stories of the day will be submitted to our current Story Bosso campaign, with over R15 000 worth of prizes up for grabs.”
“In Cape Town the theme for the day is “P is for People”, and participating in International PARK(ing) Day is an opportunity to roll out tactical urbanism activations that encourage people to re-imagine what their streets could be like if they prioritized people over vehicles”, Uppink Calderwood says. “This is an exciting prelude to our Open Streets Bellville event in October that will take over two entire streets and allow people to run, walk, cycle, skate and play in a space usually dominated by cars”.
The Greater Tygerberg Partnership encourages members of the Bellville community to come and share in the outdoor library, enter the competition, and be encouraged to think not only about public space differently, but reading and books too.