2005, California; a group of friends did an experiment. They paid for a parking space for a day. Within the confines of that box, they laid out some grass, a park bench, and a potted tree. Within minutes, a man sat down to eat his lunch.
15 years on, people are temporarily turning on-street parking into bowling greens, parks and ball pools. sPark It Liverpool will open the imagination to the idea that our streets can be so much more than space for cars – they can be spaces for people to be; can enrich people's lives; an opportunity for safe social interaction, and to experience a city centre in a completely different light.
What we'll deliver:
- An innovative and exciting 'guerilla' art promotional campaign (see other details)
- A scaleable concept, from as small as one parking space, to the whole city centre
- Pop-up transformations of street space to include art, music and culture
- Opportunities for social good and small business to showcase their own spaces during the event
- Opportunities for safe social interactions, showing a new way to connect with the city
- Engagement with schools, social enterprises and other organisations during planning and delivery
- Collaborations which will raise awareness of, and engage the public in, creative and worthwhile causes
- We will create a fertile ground for new ideas, and a support network to nurture their growth
- After the initial event we will provide support and advice for new ideas to grow and access funding
- A boost, both financial and in terms of visibility, to small businesses and the local economy
Why it's a great idea:
After lockdown, the world needs change. We must build back better. We need to heal. We need to address the challenges in our future, by engaging the creativity of our people. Solutions can only be created with love, imagination, and joy. This process starts with fostering creative spirit on our streets.
Social distancing needs space. Our economy, our businesses, our culture and our relationships need space. Park That will let the restaurants and galleries, creatives and social enterprises breathe. It will increase engagement in businesses, build new relationships, and help Liverpool see a glimpse of a future in which the city is a vibrant, safe, sustainable ecosystem.
sPark It's main aim is to make people ask questions - what if we had clean air, easy access to local produce, thriving arts and culture, good health and the means to live life differently? What if we placed more value on community?
What do we really value, and how do we safeguard it for ourselves and our children?
Steps to get it done:
- Create media plan including visual design, website, social media strategy and promotion, ways to record engagement
- Reach out to potential pop-up organisations (need to design application process)
- Create Business Case, identify funding opportunities and support for new projects resulting from event
- Draw up list of stakeholders and Project Board/Project Management Plan
- Create working groups (digital, programme management, risk assessment...)
- Decide upon specific sites (number and locations)
- Begin guerrilla marketing campaign
- Finalise pop-up organisations and hold initial planning meeting, awarding funding
- Communicate deadline for 'delivery' of pop-ups (when each organisation is ready to go with the installation)
- Finalise agreements with Liverpool City Council and other stakeholders
- Set date (this should be one of the first things, however current lockdown means we must be flexible)
- Launch website, social media, marketing campaign
- Engage with contacts post event, begin supporting respondents to link with organisations or access support/funding
The idea is completely scaleable, as the concept is very simple - take over a parking space for a day. This could be thrown open to any business or organisation that meets the criteria (our five areas highlighted as being key to moving towards a zero carbon economy: food, transport, the built environment, energy and supporting carbon capture by re-greening the landscape.)
A lot of planning has already gone into the event. We were due to hold a proof-of-concept installation by purchasing a parking space for two hours on Dale St and installing an art gallery. This has been delayed due to lockdown, but we had planned to record the event and use it in a funding application to the Arts Council which we were already discussing with Sean Durney in Culture Liverpool.
We have a number of organisations already on board with the idea, have started working on website and artwork, and have identified some of the key stakeholders. The most important one we have yet to engage is the Mayoral Team.