On Friday September 15 the city of Nashville welcomed its fifth annual Park(ing) Day, a worldwide event where local innovators reimagine parking spots as public places of refuge rather than spaces simply to leave a car. This year, through a collaboration between Circa.Design and Firma Studio, our team focused our creative efforts on fostering a visual and verbal dialogue around the theme of Nashville Growing Together.
To do this, we built a #communiTREE. First, we built the trees—or at least the trunks of them. To create an actual green space, though, would require the active participation and will of the community, as is so often the case. Our trees sprouted leaves only as visitors came together to weigh in on some of the most pressing issues concerning growth in our city. What do you love about Nashville? What should we be thinking about as we grow our city? What is the value of green spaces? Tourists and locals alike wrote their ideas on green strips of fabric and then hung them on the trees.
Throughout the course of the day, our little asphalt box morphed into a vibrant green space. And, our collective understanding of the key issues confronting our city in the face of unprecedented growth came into sharper focus.
Mayor Megan Barry is on the same page: "Our network of streets and alleyways comprises Nashville’s largest and most valuable public space. PARK(ing) Day Nashville is a perfect example of how we can partner with citizens on testing new parameters for utilizing our streets in new and interesting ways, apart from just making way for cars. Circa Design and Firma Studio created a very unique and thought provoking project that challenged residents and visitors alike to share their vision for a healthy and vibrant community. It is wonderful to see that many of the thoughts shared by Nashvillians are reflected in our plans to expand public transportation options, create more vibrant parks and green spaces, and make Nashville a more sustainable and livable community for all. Government cannot do it alone, and so we need partners like Circa Design and Firma Studio to help raise awareness of these important issues if we are going to keep Nashville moving forward.”