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PARKing Day in Pittsburgh

Parking Day is an event where people in cities all over the world repurpose parking spaces into parks, or as a group of Duquesne Ph.D Psychology students did, a psychotherapist's office.

The basic concept of Parking Day started up a few years ago in San Francisco. It rapidly spread across the world. This year in Pittsburgh there were more than twenty different Parking Spaces. Chuck Alcorn, an Urban Planner, helped organize this year's event.

"The point of parking day is to get people to think about urban space, and how much space is used for parking, and how much better it can be if a park is located in a place where they work or live," he said.

Most of the parks looked like parks with grass or sod, plenty of plants, maybe some benches or a grill. The space the students transformed on Forbes Avenue in Uptown was decorated with a rug, a table, a plant, a chair for a therapist and a chaise lounge chair for a client. A board was set up with a statistic from the National Institutes of Health: 46% of people struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives.

It was chilly and many of the people who walked by were engaged in their phones, busy running errands or late for work or class, but a number also stopped.