News release: PARK(ing) Day: Want fifty shades of green, not fifty shades of grey?

21st September 2012

On Friday 21st September, Manchester Friends of the Earth is inviting people to join with citizens in cities around the world who will be temporarily transforming metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of international “PARK(ing) Day” [1].

Once again, Manchester Friends of the Earth members will be redesigning car parking spaces in Manchester city centre into picnic parks complete with “grass”, plants, deckchairs, tea, cupcakes and sparkling conversation.

The group have also launched a PARK(ing) Day photo competition asking people to send in their creative, colourful photo messages, showing their support for green space in Greater Manchester. There are some great prizes from Redeye the Photography Network and Unicorn Co-operative Grocery. The photo competition runs until 30th September. See for more details.

The aim is to encourage people to imagine how much better our cities could be if they had fewer spaces for cars and more room for people. The Manchester group will be in good company: the 2011 PARK(ing) Day included over 975 installations in more than 162 cities on six continents.

Over the last fifty years our cities have been developed to make more and more space for the car. Supermarkets and malls, with massive car parks, have often overpowered local businesses in city locations. At the same time our streets have become noisy, polluted and unpleasant.[2]  These policies have high costs in terms of air pollution, congestion and health.[3]  PARK(ing) Day highlights the need to make our streets more attractive for residents and visitors, and improve the environment for businesses.

Catherine Thomson, Manchester Friends of the Earth Co-ordinator said:

“Imagine if our cities had fewer spaces for cars and more room for people. We are inviting people to help us make parking spaces more sociable, fun and colourful. Join us on the day or send us a photo of how people can help make grey spaces become green”.

Photo opportunity:  Friday 21st September. 9.30am, Thomas Street, Northern Quarter. Phone Pete Abel on 07951 642858 for exact PARK(ing) location.



Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth. Mobile: 07951 642858


Notes to Editors:

[1] See for more details.

[2] Sustrans, 2008. Traffic restraint and retail vitality.

[3] Sustainable Development Commission, 2011. Fairness in a Car-dependent society, “SDC estimate that the total cost of our level of car dependency significantly exceeds the £48 billion per annum in taxes and charges on UK road users.”

[4] Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations.  Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.