Park(ing) Day for Fitness is a two-day event concept that draws on the global Park(ing) Day invented by Rebar Studio in San Francisco, now held worldwide every third Friday in September. Within Park(ing) day, parking spots are transformed into temporary public places, be it parks, social areas, exhibit areas, or anything the organizers want to promote.

Park(ing) Day for Fitness builds on the existing practices and guidelines provided by Rebar, adding an element of a multi-sport day event to offer activities that promote active lifestyles and engage the public.

Park(ing) Day for Fitness events will be held in the third week of September (16-22 September)

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About Park(ing) day for fitness

The mission of the Park(ing) Day for Fitness events is to draw attention to the many (untapped) possibilities that our cities offer for physical activity, the need for more open spaces where people can exercise safely, and further, to provoke a public debate on how to adapt in times of crisis and improve the quality of the urban environment.

The overall objective of the project is to encourage participation and increase public awareness of alternative possibilities to be active in their cities and provide creative opportunities to grassroots and sports operators to promote and deliver active leisure offers.

Park(ing) Day for Fitness was inspired by several initiatives undertaken by BG Be Active Association (BGBA) - the lead partner of the project. In 2017, BGBA set up and championed the long-term program _Spot Bulgaria to transform public spaces from littered and neglected spaces to places for physical activity and recreation. This nationwide programme creates opportunities for people to be active and promotes the creative and sustainable use of public spaces. As a result of tactical placemaking interventions over the past 4-years on the national level, up until 2021, we co-created, with local communities, 40 public places and provided opportunities to use them for leisure and physical activity.

In 2018 in Plovdiv, as partners in the Erasmus+ Movement Spaces project (MOVEment Spaces) led by the International Sports and Culture Association (ISCA), together with five European cities, 5 NGOs, and grassroots sport experts, BGBA piloted the concept of a pop-up fitness park that offered citizens the opportunity to take part in different activities (streetball, table tennis etc.). This pilot intervention served not only as an activation opportunity (engaging more than 6,000 people over 3-days), but BGBA also used the project results to advocate the demand for more public spaces that function to accommodate the needs of people to be active in their everyday lives and in a non-structured context.

As promoting the use of public spaces and improving their functionality is at the core of BGBA’s work following discussions with partners engaged both in public space transformations and multisport-event coordinations and implementations, we decided to continue developing projects and programmes related to strengthening the link between public space and physical activity and respectively between placemakers and grassroots sports operators - thus Park(ing) Day for Fitness was born.

Together with the partners from:

  • Netherlands - Placemaking Europe
  • Romania - Association Sport for All Suceava (AJSPT Suceava)
  • Poland - V4 SPORT Foundation
  • France - Azur Sport Sante
  • Austria - XsentrikArts

we will coordinate 90 p-spot events, and 6 flagship events in 6 countries.

WHY SHOULD YOU BE PART OF Park(ing) day for fitness?

Parking spaces are an under-appreciated land-use type in our otherwise vibrant cities. They could be rented cheap, at just a few coins per hour, and become anything for a duration of hours. On what has once been concrete, a living grass could be rolled up, a treadmill could be installed, a few yoga mats could be placed, a potted tree, or - why not - a tennis table. Park(ing) Day for Fitness is a celebration, re-imagination and reminder about the many untapped opportunities to be physically active in our cities.

The re-imagined parking spots create an opportunity:

  • To start a discussion and advocate for more places for people, not cars
  • To showcase the untapped possibilities to reclaim streets for fun leisure sports activities outside the standard-setting
  • To nudge people to start thinking about physical activity in the urban setting

Park(ing) Day for Fitness is open to all! Do not hesitate to check the resources, organize your own Park(ing) Day for Fitness event, and share it with us with the # ParkingDayForFitness #ActivateYourStreets

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Implementing Organisations

Park(ing) day for fitness contributes to