Niche magazine features two car parks in Bengaluru
Can car parks be a site for arts and culture? A new magazine featuring two public parking spaces in Bengaluru explores the idea.
‘(Our) Parking Magazine’ is an annual publication dedicated to urban parking. The first edition is titled “Namma Parking” – it focuses on BBMP car parks
at KR Market and JC Road.
It is a project of Radha RH, 23 years old, based in Bangalore. She studied the design of public spaces and works as a product designer.
Less than 100 copies have sold since the release of the inaugural edition in December. But the feedback from buyers – architects, planners and longtime Bengalurians – was better because they wanted to know it could generate so much content about parking, an unlikely topic.
In the 44-pager, Radha asks if public parking spaces can be used as venues for events (related to music, art or food) during off-peak hours. This can make it a safer and busier place to access, such as subway stations. Currently, their male-dominated vibe is “slightly exclusive.”
“Please don’t stay here after sunset,” advised a trader around the parking lot of KR Market in Radha upon recognition.
“He was worried about my safety, but I felt like it was because I looked ‘different’ to the sales people who use the parking lot until 10 p.m.,” she said.
Radha admits that her first visit to the KR market parking lot made her feel uncomfortable. “It was flooded, there were cobwebs… But the more I visited, the more I became familiar with the place. The parking lot attendants shared the chai with me,” she recalls.
Parking lots are a haunt of stories, she would soon find out. “A man told me that he once saw a blinding light in the JC Road parking lot. He was so shocked that he was bedridden for two months. I don’t know if it’s true she laughs.
Elderly men meet friends here, children play cricket, cleaners have lunch, vendors load and unload their wares, she saw. She also heard upset stories about the lack of secure parking.
Other articles feature “No Parking Signs” around Bengaluru, Google reviews of these parking lots, an explanation of Bengaluru’s parking policy, a review of “Rethinking A Lot”, a book on the design and culture of parking, and guest views on the matter.
“It’s only when you know what your parking spots look like that you can start imagining what they might become,” she says.
“These car parks, I assume, are run by families. If I think that it (the model) brings appropriation and facilitates the good functioning, the fear of monopolizing the space is also present”, she illustrates.
To contribute to the magazine or order a copy (Rs 300), visit ourparking.net