A section of Lenox Square’s parking lot was transformed into an interactive and green event on Sept. 14 with various groups and businesses reimagining parking spaces as more than a place for a vehicle as part of the annual PARK(ing) Day event.

“The whole concept is, if we didn’t have all this automobile infrastructure, what do we want to do with the space?” Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead, which organizes the event.

PARK(ing) Day is a national event that began in San Francisco in 2005, when a local design firm rented a metered parking spot and created a mini-park with sod, a park bench and a tree.

Since then, the event has spread to other cities around the U.S. The idea behind the event is make the area less car-oriented, at least temporarily, and get people thinking about parks in an urban environment.

This year, 40 parking spots at Lenox Square were transformed by businesses, nonprofits, schools and individuals.

This year, Cherry Street Energy signed on as  the energy sponsor of Livable Buckhead and provided solar-powered generators for PARK(ing) Day. The solar generators powered the food trucks at the event and will provide solar for two Livable Buckhead outdoor screenings in October. Plans are also to find ways to incorporate solar-powered features along PATH400 and its connected parks.

Winners selected by judges at this year’s PARK(ing) Day:

Meanest Greenest – CHaRM

Most Buckhead – PFI: Plants Forever Inc.

Most Unusual – Lifecycle Building Center

Most Creative – Lyft

Parking spaces at Lenox Square were transformed into green spaces and more at the annual PARK(ing) Day event organized by Livable Buckhead. (Dyana Bagby)
DJ Mike Zarin provided the beats during the Sept. 14 PARK(ing) Day and Lenox Square. The trophies on his table were presented to winners of the event for best design and interactive experiences. (Dyana Bagby)
The High Museum was on hand at PARK(ing) Day to promote its upcoming exhibit, Infinity Mirrors by Yayoi Kusama. (Dyana Bagby)
Blue Heron Nature Preserve staff and volunteers had fun with their parking space at Lenox Square’s annual PARK(ing) Day event organized by Livable Buckhead. (Dyana Bagby)
Luq Coffen, at right, a member of the Georgia Chalk Artists, invited the public to draw on chalk boards at PARK(ing) Day. (Dyana Bagby)
Dozens of vendors and organizations transformed a portion of Lenox Square’s parking lot into fun spaces on Sept. 14 as part of PARK(ing) Day. (Dyana Bagby)
Lyft staff created flower bouquets for visitors to the annual PARK(ing) Day at Lenox Square. (Dyana Bagby)
Kim Obrheu, owner of Plants Forever Inc., said this was the first year her horticulture and holiday design business participated in PARK(ing) Day. “We believe in greening spaces,” she said. (Dyana Bagby)
Nate Hoelzel, special projects manager of Lifecycle Building Center, sits on a bench made from recycled construction materials at PARK(ing) Day at Lenox Square. All the materials located in the parking space are recycled. (Dyana Bagby)
Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling rides a stationary bike that powered a small carousel in the pocket park created by the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) at PARK(ing) Day at Lenox Square. (Dyana Bagby)

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.