Last summer Bristol decided to introduce a ‘make Sunday’s special’ campaign. The first of these fun Sundays was the park street water slide dubbed ‘park and slide.’
This meant closing off Park Street, a steep hill in Bristol’s city centre and construct a giant water slide down it.
I love this idea and went a long to watch. I didn’t take part though as I didn’t win the lottery that was run to decide the sliders. It was a very weird experience as this road which is usually quite busy with traffic was transformed into this area for fun. It got me thinking about the interactions between people and the city.
Travel: The usual way to travel up and down Park Street is either by walking (boring and slow) or driving (still boring and sometimes slower). This interaction got interrupted with the waterslide and the cars replaced with lilos.
The city: There is a certain way to behave whilst in the street. This is challenged with the waterslide and it was nice not being sure how to act. The road, for one day, was converted into a playground.
Each other: This made the way people interacted with each other a little different as well. People tended to be more sociable than usual and everyone seemed to be in a good mood.
I think what’s so nice about the park street waterslide is what makes it so interesting. Its not trying to solve any big world problems. Its not trying to make a political statement. Its just trying to spread a little joy and to make that day a little more fun.