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Global Public Art Project

PARK(ing) Day is a global, public, participatory art project launched by Rebar in 2005. It is a day where people across the world temporarily repurpose street parking spaces and convert them to tiny parks and places for art, play, and activism. 

Park(ing) Day is a unique and exciting opportunity to engage in the ongoing dialog around how our cities are designed and built. It began as a guerilla art project and act of design activism in a single parking space, and has grown into a global movement, inspiring the creation of “parklets” and COVID-era “streeteries” in cities across the United States and beyond. Park(ing) Day is the third Friday in September every year. This is WCIT+MKH 2018 Installation.

Moʻolelo: Park(ing) Day Start

In 2005 the Rebar design team equipped with 200 square feet of lawn, a 15–foot–tall tree, a rented park bench and the desire to exploit the metered parking space as a site for art, activism and cultural expression, created the first Park(ing) Day.

Early sketches included an 8’x20’ outdoor office space, an urban forest, a cabaret, and other ideas. (see napkin sketch). John sketched up an idea for an urban park in a parking space and dubbed it Park(ing). After several rounds of meeting and discussion at the Latin American Club in the Mission we chose a time and location, and on November 16, 2005 we installed the world’s first Park(ing) installation at 1st and Mission in San Francisco.

The following year, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land we launched Park(ing) Day, an annual event for people to reclaim urban space from cars, one parking space at a time. The project spread and grew to hundreds of cities and thousands of participants every year, and still continues to spread across the globe. 

Concept: Moʻolelo Tree

ʻO Akaaka ka inoa o ka palipaʻa ma hope o ke awāwa o Mānoa a ʻo Nalehuaakaaka ka inoa o ka lehua ʻulaʻula e ulu ma luna o ia palipaʻa.  Ua hānau ʻia kekahi māhoe e lāua, ʻo ia hoʻi, ʻo Kaʻaukuahine a me Kahaukani.  ʻO Kaʻaukuahine (ka ua o ke kualapa) ka makuakāne a ʻo Kahaukani (ka makani o Mānoa) ka makuahine o Kahalaopuna.  Noho ʻo Kahalaopuna i kekahi hale kapu i kapa ʻia ʻo Kahiamano.  Ua hoʻopalau ʻo Kahalaopuna iā Kauhi.  ʻO Kauhi kekahi mea o kekahi ʻohana ikaika no Koʻolau.

The moʻolelo tree concept brought the conversation of public space a step further by asking passers by to write down what our neighborhood parks could be. The native plants used for decoration were provided for use by native nursery Hui Ku Maoli Ola.

The metal work lehua tree was created by master local artist Satoru Abe. Satoru Abe is a famed painter and sculptor. Born in 1926 in Honolulu, Hawai’i, he attended McKinley High School, where he took art lessons from Shirley Ximena Hopper Russell. Abe met local artist Isami Doi, who would become a close friend and mentor, and began a series of copper work experiments with fellow artist Bumpei Akaji. In 1956, Abe returned to New York and found a creative home at The Sculpture Center, where his original work attracted the attention of gallery owners and others. Abe returned to Hawai'i in 1970. Along with Bumpei Akaji, Edmund Chung, Tetsuo Ochikubo, Jerry T. Okimoto, James Park, and Tadashi Sato, he was a member of the Metcalf Chateau, a group of seven Asian-American artists with ties to Honolulu. Abe is best known for his sculptures of abstracted natural forms, many of which resemble trees. The Honolulu Museum of Art and the Hawai’i State Art Museum are among the public collections holding works of Satoru Abe. His sculptures appear in many public places.



Kakaʻako, Honolulu, Oʻahu


WCIT | DTL | Satoru Abe | HKMO




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