The Diary: Jenga and juice as city car parking spots are transformed

Sheffield Hallam University students, from left, Jack Poulton, Ellie Betham, Daniel Gibbs and Connie Gregory play jenga ,as part of Park(ing) Day, in Divison Street, Sheffield.
Sheffield Hallam University students, from left, Jack Poulton, Ellie Betham, Daniel Gibbs and Connie Gregory play jenga ,as part of Park(ing) Day, in Divison Street, Sheffield.
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The trouble with Division Street, it’s often said, is that while there are plenty of shops and bars to browse, you just can’t get a game of giant Jenga there for love nor money.

That was until Friday.

Students set up the much-loved wooden blocks in a car parking spot as part of a global day of action to use parking spaces for something more pedestrian-friendly.

In another slot, a group made apple juice for passers- by to try; while a third space was turned into a mini factory making wooden plant pots to give away.

“We’ve been getting some funny looks,” admits Danny Gibbs when the Diary wanders up. “But people have been getting involved, asking what it’s all about and then having a game.”

The idea – called PARK(ing) Day and initiated in San Francisco in 2005 – is to transform thousands of parking spots across the world to ‘reclaim’ the road as public space. This is the first time it has run here. It was organised by community group Sheffield Dream City.