Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween in Cap Hill Parking Lots

As CHS reports, there are quite a few Halloween activities occurring on Capitol Hill tomorrow night, two of which will take place in parking lots (or spaces that at least look like parking lots).

For starters, the hard-partying cap to the hill bloggers are throwing another bash in the Havana parking lot. There's a $10 cover charge -- you can purchase tickets through the fabulous brown paper tickets -- but unlike their last party, an invitation isn't required. On that note, here's the facebook event page. There will be bands, DJs, and even a photobooth.

Or perhaps you're a laser-light show type, someone who prefers Pink Floyd to Kid Sister? Here's the event for you, a laser light show in the asphalt lot that will house the Broadway Light Rail Station in a few years. This looks like something signaltonoise might put together if someone gave them a big check.

Donations Made Easy

As an Associated Program with Shunpike, People's Parking Lot is now able to accept donations from the good people of the internet. Our events are all planned and executed by volunteers so every dollar counts. So if you're feeling generous and would like to put a few dollars toward next year's Park(ing) Day (for insurance, sod, supplies, etc.), it would be greatly appreciated!

Online donation system by ClickandPledge

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mission Statement

In filling out the forms for a Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs grant, I was required to provide a mission statement, which I'm sharing here for your reading pleasure:

The mission of People's Parking Lot can quite simply be stated as "activating vacant spaces." Such a broad definition allows us to pursue diverse projects at multiple scales, such as organizing outdoor community garage sales to participating in international performance art events like Park(ing) Day. We locate ourselves at the intersection of public art, activism, and community-building, seeking to engage the public in culturally enriching activities while simultaneously maintaining a critical stance toward the way urban spaces develop.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Couch Film Festival

Anyone know of an empty, abandoned, disused, or neglected space in Fremont, Wallingford, Green Lake or the U-District? People's Parking Lot is searching them out in hopes of serving as a living room for the second annual Couch Film Festival on November 7th.

Given the rain and the need for electricity, an indoor location would likely be the best. However, we're open to outdoor spaces too (a parking garage comes to mind...).

(Image from

McGinn Event Saturday

For those of you unable to make it to McGinn's Built Environment and Sustainability fundraiser on Monday, I offer you another chance to play a more active role in the mayoral election. The suggested donation is just $20 and that gets you cajun food and beverages. Moreover, bring a blank t-shirt and screen print your own McGinn propaganda. I received my ballot yesterday, as I'm sure you did, so now is the time to contribute what money or time you have to the candidate who shares your ideals.

McGINN FUNDRAISER at home of Cleveland Stockmeyer

SAT. OCT. 17 2009 6:30 UNTIL?

8056 SUNNSYIDE AVE N. (at Sunnyside and 82d)


$20 suggested minimum donation but greater amounts appreciated. Bring checks/credit card, no cash accepted.

Cajun food (best to arrive 6:30-8:00 for food !) & beverages provided.

Bring a blank tee shirt to get it silk screened with McGinn logo.

Children and polar bears welcome!

8056 sunnyside ave. n. is at 82d and sunnyside ave. north, an intersection 3 blocks north of Green Lake and and just west of I 5. Nearby buses include 16, 48, 316, 66 or any bus going to 85th and Wallingford. Driving, take I 5 north to 85th, go left on wallingford, go left on 82d and go a few blocks to to sunnyside & 82d. Or using Aurora, go north on Aurora & take a right on 80th, just before I 5 take a left on sunnyside, and go one block to 82d and sunnyside. Enter house from 82d and please do not block access to alley

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alex Steffen at Town Hall Press Release.

World Renowned Green Futurist and Sustainability Expert to Speak in Seattle in November

This fall presents a rare opportunity to see's Alex Steffen in person at Town Hall Seattle on Nov. 11 and 12. As a world expert on bright green futurism, Alex spends much of his time traveling and speaking with leading businesses and governments from Norway to New Zealand; he rarely speaks at home in Seattle. But for two nights this November, he'll take the stage at Town Hall and share the latest thinking about how we here in the Emerald City can confront our planetary boundaries and how Seattle citizens can become leading innovators in a sustainable economy.

The future is unfolding as far more dangerous and chaotic than we hoped... and more full of opportunity and reasons for optimism than we imagined. As we lead up to the Copenhagen Climate Summit, a new global consensus is emerging that problems like population, global health, poverty, urbanization, climate change and environmental decline are not separate issues, but symptoms of one giant planetary challenge. The answer to that challenge must be a new kind of prosperity, one that allows billions of people to achieve a better life without destroying the planet.

At the same time, new tools and innovations are redefining the possible and changing what we thought we knew about sustainability. We're seeing potential revolutions everywhere in how we build, eat, move, work, shop and communicate. In this new world of possibilities, Seattle has a unique opportunity to transform itself into a model of sustainable prosperity and to again become a global leader in the process.

Want to know what the future holds for your career and your community? Don't miss this one-time opportunity to explore some of the most important trends shaping our lives, with one of the most sought-after green futurists working today. Alex will share Worldchanging's latest thoughts about the planetary challenges we face and his cutting edge ideas about bright green solutions, sustainability and urban innovation. And after the talks, you'll also get a chance to meet other Worldchangers, make connections and share ideas.

A New Global Future – November 11 - Alex Steffen, introduced by TBA

Nine billion people on a straining planet is a recipe either for catastrophe or transformation. Which future we get - tragic disaster or sustainable prosperity - will depend largely on the choices we here in the developed world make. What is possible for billions of people rising out of poverty will be determined largely by the shape of the economy we create in places like Seattle. How do we understand what a bright green future looks like and how do we propel our region toward it? This first night will explore the breakthroughs in renewable energy, green building, clean technology, smart infrastructure and sustainable design that can enable the Pacific Northwest to not only help lead the planet away from catastrophe, but to become an economic power house.

Seattle's Bright Green Moment – November 12 - Alex Steffen, introduced by Mike McGinn

Cities are the engines of a bright green economy. A new urban way of life is emerging that is not only ecologically frugal, but wealthier, healthier, and more enjoyable. At the same time, smart cities are becoming the hothouses of sustainable innovation, growing the designs, technologies, policies, and start up companies that will thrive in the new global economy. Learn how leading urban regions like London, Copenhagen, Melbourne and Seoul are scrambling to rebuild themselves on bright green lines in order to lead in the economy of tomorrow. Join the conversation on how we can use cutting edge practices such as innovation networks, metropolitan coalitions, and government 2.0 to break through the logjams blocking our region's progress to build a more vital, sustainable and prosperous home.

Both talks will be in the Great Hall at Town Hall Seattle (, and start 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7:00 p.m.). Each talk is 90 minutes, no intermission. Presented by Town Hall’s Center for Civic Life. Tickets are $5.00 and the event is expected to sell out.

Purchase tickets at:
November 11:
November 12:

About Alex Steffen:

Alex Steffen co-founded Worldchanging in 2003. He is the editor of the site and it's bestselling book Worldchanging: A User's Guide to the 21st Century (Abrams). A sought-after speaker, Alex has taken the stage at leading educational institutions (including Harvard, Yale, and Oxford), international businesses (including IDEO, Nike, Arup) and the world's premier ideas conferences (including TED, Poptech and Design Indaba). Alex has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine and was the subject of a CNN-International documentary. His commentary and writing have appeared in Wired, BusinessWeek, Marketplace, Der Spiegel, the BBC and elsewhere, and he has been profiled or interviewed by hundreds of publications and programs around the world, from the Yomiuri Shimbun, Haaretz and the Times of India to National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal and the Seattle Times. He is a past president of Allied Arts of Seattle, was co-founder of the Livable Communities Coalition and has served on numerous local boards and committees.

About Worldchanging: is a nonprofit media organization headquartered in Seattle, WA, that comprises a global network of independent journalists, designers and thinkers. Through its multiple-award-winning website, the organization covers the world’s most innovative solutions to the planet’s problems, and inspires its global readers with stories of new models and ideas for building a bright green future. In the six years since its founding, Worldchanging has produced more than 10,500 visionary articles. Worldchanging's book, a winner of the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, has been translated into French, German, and Korean (with other languages forthcoming). The website and book (with a foreword by Al Gore), have become a new generation's go-to sources for forward thinking, solutions-based journalism that takes a big-picture approach to sustainability. This approach has garnered Worldchanging a large global audience; Nielson Online ranked the second-largest sustainability website on the planet in its most recent assessment of the field.

What Others say about Worldchanging:

“Vitally important… not only shows what is already possible but also helps all of us imagine what might be.”
– Al Gore

"This book is the essential guide to creating sustainable solutions for today’s problems."
- Gwyneth Paltrow

"[Worldchanging is] the Whole Earth Catalog retooled for the iPod generation ... a compendium of everything a younger generation of environmental activists has to offer: creativity, digital dexterity, networking ability, an Internet-era optimism about the future, and a deep concern about not only green issues but related questions of human rights, poverty, and social justice."
– Bill McKibben New York Review of Books

"Worldchanging might well be the most complete, compelling articulation of the possible look and feel and actual operation of a sustainable society ever written."
– Denis Hayes, Bullitt Foundation

“The most important website on the planet”
– Bruce Sterling, Wired

Monday, October 5, 2009

People's Parking Lot Has a Cold and a New Job*

So for the next week or so, the updates will likely be rare. However, two things are coming up in the next week that are relevant, both of which have already been mentioned.


1) Wednesday night is the orientation meeting with Shunpike. As a fiscal sponsor, they will be able to offer People's Parking Lot annual insurance coverage for events like Park(ing) Day, at a rate less than we paid for the single-event policy. What does this mean? More events without worrying as much about money, of course.

2) Next Monday is the big Mike Mcginn fundraiser that focuses on sustainability and the Built Environment. You should come. More info here. Have a crush on Dan Bertolet or Alex Steffen? They'll both be there.

* The new job I speak of is a teaching assistantship at UW. My return to academia is very interesting but has resulted in lots of reading and this cold.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shunpike Partner Artist!

I received an email yesterday from Shunpike accepting People's Parking Lot as a Partner Artist, should we choose to accept. This would give us access to very reasonably priced insurance -- we had to pay $477 for the Park(ing) Day policy -- to put on such events as the Park(ing) Day Central Park, as well as other sorts of activist/community art installations/events. I'm very excited about this development and will share details as they develop!