International Park(ing) Day hits Manchester’s Northern Quarter

We need more green space. It’s one of the things about this great city that is perhaps slightly lacking. Every time a building is knocked down or another spare plot becomes available, it seems to be transformed into yet another car park rather than a space for people to relax and enjoy.

To draw attention to this, Manchester Friends of the Earth are taking part in International Park(ing) Day by “transforming a city centre parking space to make it sociable, fun and colourful.”

Park(ing) Day on Thomas Street (photo by @bikefabulous)Setting up their picnic on Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter, they welcome all visitors for a game of chess and maybe even afternoon tea. We’ll be popping down with our friends from Tweed Ride UK to say hello at about 4.30 pm so do come along. Here’s a map of where to find them.

<rant> It’s a real shame that there are just so many car parks in Manchester, yet drivers still struggle for space. It’s also bit embarrassing that major cultural happenings happen on car parks rather than nicer spaces – Chinese New Year on the car park in Chinatown. Manchester Pride on the car park in the village. Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if we had proper city centre parks to host these on?

We don’t really know who makes these decisions, but whether it’s the property owner, Manchester City Council or CityCo (who recently got bike racks installed in Stevenson Square!), creating yet more car parking spaces can seem to be a priority over greening this beautiful urban village. We’re not anti-car, but sometimes you’ve gotta look around and think “enough is enough”. There’s plenty of car parking on the fringes of the city centre and maybe the opportunities right in the centre should be prioritised for those who really need it… </rant>

Parking PosterWhat do you think? Do we need to work towards a better balance between grey space and green space or are we getting it right in Manchester? Leave a comment below.