Disruption Index: Svante Myrick

One of 77 people, places and ideas changing cities in 2012.

Credit: Danni Sinisi

Over the next two weeks, Next City will unroll short profiles of 77 people, places and ideas that have changed cities this year. Together, they make up our 2012 Disruption Index. Forefront subscribers can download the Index in full as a PDF, complete with beautiful designs and graphics by Danni Sinisi. Readers who make a $75 donation to Next City will have a full-color printed copy of the Index mailed to them.

One of the perks of being the top dog in a city is a primo parking spot at City Hall. Or at least it used to be. For Svante Myrick, the new mayor of Ithaca, N.Y., the nice parking spot is a perk of the past. Upon taking office in January, Myrick promptly bucked tradition and gave up both his car and his parking spot, opting instead to take advantage of a local car sharing service. And in a move right out of Park(ing) Day, he’s converted his now unused parking spot into a tiny public park with seating and planters.

It’s the sort of unconventional move you’d expect from a mayor like Myrick, who at 25 is one of the youngest mayors in America. When he first announced his parking space-to-park conversion in May — on Facebook, naturally — he invited locals to “stop by and hang out!” And the young mayor has been hanging out, frequently meeting with community members in his new mini-park. The parking space is technically still his, and the sign above his spot still stands, reading “Reserved For Mayor” with a caveat added below: “And Friends.”

Nate Berg is a writer and journalist covering cities, architecture and urban planning. Nate’s work has been published in a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times, NPR, Wired, Metropolis, Fast Company, Dwell, Architect, the Christian Science Monitor, LA Weekly and many others. He is a former staff writer at The Atlantic Cities and was previously an assistant editor at Planetizen.

Tags: parksmayorsparking2012 disruption index

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