The City of Jackson will host its first-ever PARK(ing) Day, a national event that encourages the need for more public space and catalyzes the expansion of human scale development around Jackson, on September 21.

The City will install its first parklet, designed by the Planning and Development Department, on Congress St. between Amite St. and Capitol St. funded by the AARP Community Challenge Grant. A parklet is an expansion of the sidewalk into one or more on-street parking spaces. They typically include streetscape features such as seating, planters, play elements and bicycle stations.

Planning and Development Director, Dr. Mukesh Kumar said, “We expect this to inspire Jacksonians to rethink and reimagine our streets as public places – places that welcome people of all ages, abilities, means, and sensibilities, generate human activities and become open spaces that we love to enjoy together. This is also a small demonstration of a project that serves as an example of human-scale design and equitable growth.”

On July 182018, the City of Jackson announced that the Planning Department was one of 129 grantees who received funds through the AARP Livable Communities Community Challenge ‘quick action’ grant program. Awardees across the country received grants to fund innovative projects that can inspire change and make counties, cities, towns and rural areas better places to live for residents of all ages. The City of Jackson received $15,000 which was used to design and fabricate the parklet.

According to Dr. Kumar this will be the first in a series of public installation efforts in Jackson. The Planning and Development Department hopes to continue to receive grants or community/private sponsorship that can help fund future initiatives.

The parklet will remain in place for some time. “The parklet is part of a pilot program and is designed to be semi-permanent,” said Jordan Hillman, Deputy Planning Director. “We hope to learn from it over the next few weeks to months to inform our future designs.”

If you go:

Noon – 10 p.m.: All day event programming includes food, music, vendors
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Downtown Design Dialogue (D3) on Public Space Downtown

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