What is Park(ing) Day for Fitness?

By BgBeActive

Park(ing) Day for Fitness is an event happening at a parking space. The Park(ing) Day for Fitness initiative builds on the original Park(ing) Day concept - taking over a parking spot for your own human-scale and community use - now with physical activity, movement, or fitness in mind.

This year, partner organizations in 6 different countries across Europe will conduct Park(ing) Day for Fitness events in the period 16-22 September.

There will be six flagship events that will take place simultaneously in Bulgaria, France, Romania, the Netherlands, Poland and Austria, lasting two full days: from Friday, 16th when Global Park(ing) Day is held, to Saturday 17th of September, 2022. Apart from flagship events, between the 16th and the 22nd of September partner organizations will be responsible for the coordination of 15 smaller events on the national level, with each occupying at least one physical parking spot.

About the Park(ing) Day for Fitness flagship events:

Each partner will have the flexibility to design the Park(ing) Day for Fitness flagship event in a way that is best suited for the local setting and capacities in the following frames. When it comes to organizing the flagship events, there will be two types of events across partner countries:

The first type is the Multisport Flagship Event. The aim of the multisport event is to organize a day of multisport opportunities unfolding around one major location - the Park(ing) Day for Fitness installation. Partners are encouraged to explore the possibility of closing off the street where the installations are located to use the space to organize additional training sessions, active games, and workshops for the public. Open Streets Day – a concept of an event using the public streets as a venue for physical activity, organized by the local community and local grassroots sport organizations – serves as an inspiration for this type of event. This way the flagship event will be ‘IN’ and ‘AROUND’ the Parking spot and will provide people with all-day opportunities for sports and physical activity. Alternatively, partners can organize a cluster flagship event close to spaces like parks, playgrounds, near the premises of a participating sport club, which can also provide opportunities for additional sport and leisure activities.

The second flagship event type is the Gamified Flagship Event. Such an event is a gamified discovery of physical activity that is situated on a number of Parking spaces transformed into mini-workout spots distributed around the participating city. Partners can include gamification moments to the flagship event by creating maps, trails, a game, competition or a challenge for those who tour around the PDF installations to encourage people to visit more places, and to take part and engage with the offered physical and leisure activities.

Other Park(ing) Day for Fitness events:

Partner organizations will also be responsible for the coordination of 15 smaller Park(ing) Day for Fitness events on the national level in the period 16-22 of September. Each of the 6 partners will provide their network of small pop up event-organizers with the needed resources and support and will ensure to supply organizers with branding materials and other materials related to the marketing and communication of the event.

For any questions related to future partnership in the organization of a Park(ing) Day for Fitness event or your direct participation as a citizen in the initiative, please contact the coordinator for your country:

Who is Park(ing) Day for Fitness for?

“Our main aim for the project is to increase the awareness of citizens of alternative and inclusive possibilities to be active in their cities and provide creative outlets for grassroots and sport operators to promote and deliver active leisure opportunities” – the Park(ing) Day for Fitness partner organizations.

The events under the project target the citizens overall, as the ones to engage in physical activity in public spaces, and operationally target sports clubs and grassroots sports operators as the activators and the implementing group of the event concept. The project also targets urban designers and municipalities to share with them all of the alternative ways they can plan and design for the use of public spaces. In addition, with the overall target group, each participating partner will localize the focus of their interventions.

Why do we need Park(ing) Day for fitness?

Did you know that physical activity and physical play in our built environment, across ages, cultures, and genders, has been shown to:

  • Widen mindset
  • Help problem-solving abilities
  • Boost creativity
  • Support cognitive attention
  • Relieve feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Bring heart rate and physical stress back to baseline
  • Manage heart and organ health, such as visceral fat or cholesterol levels

Today, urban design too often promotes a sedentary rather than an active daily lifestyle. Placemaking aims to reverse these trends, providing urban planning practitioners with tools to create healthier public buildings, streets and urban spaces. Placemaking uses active design to encourage stair climbing, walking, biking, transit use and active recreation.

In the end, the overall objective of the Park(ing) Day for fitness is to encourage participation and increase public awareness of alternative possibilities to be active in their cities and provide creative opportunities to grassroots and sport operators to promote and deliver active leisure.

More about the Park(ing) Day for Fitness project:

The mission of the Park(ing) Day for Fitness events is to draw attention to the many (untapped) opportunities our cities offer for physical activity, the need for more outdoor spaces where people can exercise safely, and to provoke public debate on how to adapt in times of crisis and improve the quality of the urban environment. The project also aims to highlight the urban features of public spaces in modern cities, specifically parking spaces, and how they can contribute to promoting physical activity.  

Park(ing) day for Fitness is funded by the European Union. The project coordinator is BG Be Active, and the other partner organizations are Placemaking Europe, Association Sport for all Suceava (AJSPT Suceava), V4 SPORT FOUNDATION, Azur Sport Sante, and XsentrikArts. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EACEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.



Posted on 12/08/2022 by BgBeActive