Sunday, March 21, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, we led some hardhatted folks on a walking tour of public parking in Chicago's Wrigleyville on a dark, chilly, early March evening. We now have a printed guide book for folks wishing to take their own, self-guided tour (download the 1.8 MB PDF), just in time for warmer weather.
The tour covers a broad range of stories and histories, but continues our investigations of the "front" and "back" spaces of public parking - where parking happens and where it is legislated, where the materiality of parking collides with its symbols and myths.
Chicago, and Wrigleyville in particular, offers a rich landscape in which to view and consider the role that public parking has played in transforming urban space and how we live in it. In the one block area around Wrigley Field, we find passionate battles over land use, government and corporate corruption, Native American struggles for economic and social equity and creative informal economies - all taking place in and around the spaces of parking. The tour concludes at a location where we can consider the past, present and future of the city's public parking infrastructure, namely the development and growth of the municipal parking meter program that was recently leased to a private corporation for 75 years.
Our tour was commissioned by Deke Weaver for the DIRT: Land/Use Festival at Links Hall in Chicago. We thank Deke and the Links Hall staff, as well as everyone who came out for the tour.