2023 PARK(ing) Day Recap

Originally started in San Francisco in 2005, PARK(ing) Day is an annual event that has been hosted in Knoxville since 2018.

The event concept is to bring attention to how much space we devote to cars and to allow individuals, groups, and businesses to reimagine how those spaces could be used differently for people. Often, the spaces are turned into temporary parks, but there are always a variety of other uses as well.

In Knoxville, the event takes place on Gay Street and is hosted by the city, the American Institute of Architects of East Tennessee, and Sesco Lighting. This year’s event, held on September 15, hosted groups that created comfortable spaces for people to take a break, relax, and imagine what those places could be if not reserved for cars. The spaces were filled with seating, plants, art, games, and more.

Planning and the TPO worked together to create a space for the event, and settled on a life-size interactive board game.

A board was chalked onto the ground within two parking spaces, and participants could play individually or in groups. Participants chose their player from the following:




Bus rider

They then rolled dice and moved the corresponding number of spaces. Players would land on a board square and draw a card. Some cards had directions based on their player type, such as, “There’s a shortcut if you take the greenway! Move ahead two spaces if you are a bike rider or walker.” Others had a trivia question like, “What is the average annual transportation cost for a single household in Knoxville?” with multiple options for the player to choose from. The correct answer to this particular question is $12,388!

The game was created to make participants think about how they get around and how different transportation modes impact us in different ways. As always, it was fun to see people work through the challenge and enjoy using the space that is otherwise reserved for cars!