In the spring of 2015, tension and unrest erupted in Baltimore and it became the center of national media attention. Mahan Rykiel’s Social Impact Studio joined the local community to bring the attention back — this time, to showcase the power of creative collaboration at a 2016 PARK(ing) Day event, located at the Mondawmin Mall parking lot adjacent to the Metro Station at 2401 Liberty Heights Avenue.
The Mahan Rykiel 2016 PARK(ing) Day event created a dynamic outdoor environment at Mondawmin Mall for one day to highlight the value of parks and open space. It brought energy to an underutilized asphalt surface adjacent to the Mall and Metro Transit Station (on Mondawmin property), featuring opportunities for the community to relax, and engage. The design used recycled and sustainable materials that create an inviting and green place to enjoy. The installation provided pedestrians walking to and from the transit station a new look at Mondawmin Mall — showcasing its role as a vital community anchor in west Baltimore. Furthermore, the event broadcasted the strength and beauty of the community — giving the city and the world a glimpse into the power of creative collaboration.
MRA coordinated their effort with Gensler, Ziger/ Snead Architects, Mondawmin Mall-GGP, Morgan State University, Parks & People Foundation, Baltimore Office of Sustainability, MTA, MICA, The Land of Kush, Dovecote Café, Tha Flower Factory, and Brick & Board. Plant materials and resources were generously donated by Ruppert Nurseries and Chapel Valley Landscape Company.
Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement that has, included more than 975 “PARK” installations in more than 162 cities, 35 countries, and six continents. The event challenges people to rethink the way streets are used, calling attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!