A gnome stands guard over a Minneapolis PARK(ing) Day installation.Photo courtesy Sveden via Flickr In most of the cities around the world, huge swaths of public space are blocked by enormous metal objects. These objects are called personal motor vehicles, or cars. They squat by the curb, feeling and thinking nothing, and getting in the way of a good game of stickball. On PARK(ing) Day -- which this year is today, Sept. 17 -- that changes, if only for a few hours. In some 140 cities around the planet, humans take back some of the parking spaces and use them …
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Sarah Goodyear has written about cities for a variety of publications, including Grist and Streetsblog. She lives in Brooklyn. She's also on Twitter.