University of the Sciences will soon receive its very own SMARTcar, but not for reasons you’d expect. The University will provide a temporary home to a 1:1 scale model of a SMARTcar, cut longitudinally down the center and pulled apart to create seating for pedestrians. In Sept., the model, created by architects from the local office of RMJM Hillier, transformed an ordinary Philadelphia
parking space into a SMARTpark in honor of National Park(ing) Day.
National Park(ing) Day, a one-day phenomenon that started in San Francisco, took place in Philadelphia for the first time on Friday, Sept. 19, and provided a unique opportunity for people to collaborate on ways to transform parking spaces around the city into temporary active or passive green spaces. The movement celebrates parks in cities and aims to showcase the impact of automobile use on choices for land development (e.g. parking spaces) and the possibilities for reducing pollution.
As one of many efforts to increase engagement between the University and the local community, the Office of Community Partnerships worked with the Clark Park Partnership group and other local organizations to secure the SMARTcar bench for campus exhibition.
The bench will be “parked” on the concrete triangle at the end of Clark Park
, where 43rd and 45th Streets meet Woodland Avenue
. Along with providing a unique resting spot for the community, the bench encourages continued dialogue on the space given up to highways, roads, parking, and other infrastructure necessary to support automobiles.