By: Jonathan Crain

ASLA, REV Birmingham, the City of Birmingham and CCDMC are bringing the international celebration of people focused public spaces known as Park(ing) Day back to 20th Street North this Friday, Sept. 18. If you’re wondering what Park(ing) day is, or where it came from, check out our blog post about Park(ing) Day history.


This year’s event is an even more focused and ambitious design that builds off of the momentum created by last year’s installation. Here’s what you can expect to find on the eastern side of 20th St N between 2nd Ave N and Forstall Art Supply this Friday. 

  • Fresh Landscaping – For Park(ing) day we’re testing out a new look and feel for the planted space along 20th street. A focus on native and low maintenance plants should keep the beds and planters looking great year-round. The new planting plan also plays off the types of species found in other popular Birmingham public spaces like Railroad Park and Rotary Trail to give all of downtown a cohesive look and feel. 
  • Flexible Use Seating – One core tenant of Park(ing) Day is creating opportunities for people to enjoy a public space. We’re adding moveable café tables and chairs that can be a great place for a cup of coffee, a game of chess, or some work on a laptop. We’ve gone with movable furniture because people feel more comfortable when they can scoot their chair into that perfect spot to get them out of the shade, or lean in for a closer conversation. 
  • Reclaimed Pedestrian Space – We’ve used limestone infill to bring the curb cut up to sidewalk height, in essence extending the sidewalk space for people. This new space can adapt to pedestrian needs, like expanded outdoor seating during the Covid-19 crisis, but the most important thing is that it’s giving space back to people.  
  • Multi-Modal Street DesignThe right lane of 20th Street has been temporarily designated as a flex zone, meaning it can adapt to different uses and needs: loading zone, valet parking or even parking a food truck. Between the flex lane and the travel lane, a new bike/scooter lane gives people more ways to enjoy the new 20th Street. The flex zone and multimodal lane also further separate pedestrians from traffic, improving safety and elevating the atmosphere for everyone on 20th Street. 

We would love to see YOU at Park(ing) Day on Friday. Come find out how awesome a pedestrian-oriented street can be, and give us your feedback on all the new design elements that we’re testing. 

REV would like to thank Hunter Trees, Vulcan Materials, Alabama Outdoors, B&G Equipment and Supply, Fermob,  and Shelby General Contractors for helping us make this project happen.

Related News

  • Your guide to a family-friendly day downtown

    Filed Under: Downtown Birmingham, Family Friendly, Front Page, Get Involved, Small Business, Yaysayers

    With summer just around the corner, kids will soon be out of school and insisting on getting out of the house. Luckily, Downtown Birmingham has an abundance of family-friendly activities that will keep your kiddos entertained and create lifelong memories.

    We know taking kids out for extended periods can be challenging; that’s why we have curated a list of experiences designed to be enjoyable within a manageable 3 – 4 hour timeframe. This way, both children and parents can make the most of their time without feeling overwhelmed or exhausted. These four experiences include lunch options and are tailored to different ages and personalities.

    Read More

  • Get to know your City Center District Manager, Michael Symes.

    Filed Under: Downtown Birmingham, Front Page, Get Involved, REV Team, Yaysayers

    Meet Michael Symes, the new City Center District Manager for the Business Improvement District (BID). As a long-time resident of Birmingham, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, having been an active member of the community since graduating from the University of Alabama. In this article, we will explore Michael’s journey and learn about his “accidental roots” in the city, as well as his passion for working with the Business Improvement District (BID) of the Magic City. Follow along  as we get to know the person behind the job title and uncover the unique perspective he brings to the role.

    Read More

  • Why your voice on historic preservation is essential

    Filed Under: Front Page, Get Involved, Historic Preservation, Residential

    President and CEO of REV Birmingham David Fleming writes about the importance of historic preservation and highlights the advocacy efforts that saved the French Quarter in New Orleans and the Forest Park neighborhood in Birmingham. The article concludes with a call to action, urging for new leaders and the implementation of various strategies to protect and celebrate Birmingham’s historic buildings and places.

    Read More