Car-free community time in park

Ben Espie and Carey Vivian, of Vivian + Espie, are partnering with Southern Landmarx to create a...
Ben Espie and Carey Vivian, of Vivian + Espie, are partnering with Southern Landmarx to create a temporary patch of green park space for the community from a car park on Friday. Photo supplied.
A slice of heaven is about to be created in bustling downtown Queenstown.

The "Queenstown PARK(ing) Day" space will be open from 7am to 4pm on the corner of Rees and Beach Sts on Friday.

Pedestrians will be welcome to enjoy a mini-park oasis of nature where a grey car-parking spot existed for the benefit of vehicles, albeit for one day only.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual global event which aims to promote the importance of urban open space within cities and towns by transforming parking spaces into temporary public parks.

After starting in San Francisco in 2005, the event spread to 160 cities in 35 countries last year. Artists, designers and citizens "took back" a space from cars.

It will be the first time a PARK(ing) Day space has been created in Queenstown and it is the only official entry registered for New Zealand this year, organisers said this week.

Queenstown landscaping company Southern Landmarx and landscape planning company Vivian + Espie united on the project because it was "not only a great cause and initiative, but also something fun and unique that the whole community can enjoy," Southern Landmarx co-director Joe Nutting said.

Vivian + Espie co-director Ben Espie said the majority of open space within towns was usually dedicated to roads and car-parking spaces.

"By removing one of these car parks and creating a space for people to enjoy, PARK(ing) Day not only highlights the importance of public open space but also the vehicle dominance of towns and cities.

"This is something we're creating for the Queenstown community, so everyone's encouraged to come along on the day, enjoy, relax and check out this project."

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