ReThinking A Lot

ReThinking A Lot

The Design and Culture of Parking

Book - 2012
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As the number of passenger cars in the world increases daily, so too does Earth's supply of parking spaces. In some cities, parking lots cover more than one-third of the metropolitan footprint--but their design and function has not been rethought since the 1950s. Here, urban designer Eran Ben-Joseph shares a different vision for parking's future--aesthetically pleasing, environmentally and architecturally responsible. He provides a visual history of this often-ignored urban space, introducing us to some of the many alternative and nonparking purposes that parking lots have served. He shows us parking lots that are lushly planted with trees and flowers and beautifully integrated with the rest of the built environment. With purposeful design, Ben-Joseph argues, parking lots could be significant public places, contributing as much to their communities as great boulevards, parks, or plazas.--From publisher description.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2012
ISBN: 9780262017336
Branch Call Number: 388.474 B468
Characteristics: xx, 157 p. : ill. ; 26 cm
Alternative Title: Design and culture of parking

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ontherideau Jun 11, 2014

Parking lots are something that those of us who travel by car use every day yet what notice do we take of them? Author Eran Ben-Joseph states that big cities may devote as much as one third of their land to temporary car storage. When you think about it, a family of 4 in a restaurant takes up less space than their vehicle does outside.
Builders plan for beautiful lobbies and enhanced landscaping- this is good but could plans be extended to incorporate environmental considerations for the place we leave our wheels?
Bluewater, one of the largest shopping malls in the UK, occupies 240 acres including vehicle accommodation featuring lawns, lakes and 47,000 trees! (may I suggest google images?)
Other earth friendly notions are "green porous paving" , pedestrian amenities or multi use parking lots and storm water management. The numbers for run off from an acre of black asphalt during a one inch rainfall are significant, multiply by the acres of paved lots - well it just makes you wonder what we are doing to our planet. Should that rain be hydrating the ground below instead of storm sewers?
International design architects have some brilliant ideas but we need local developers and municipal planners onboard. Tell two friends, tell lots of friends, friends in high places. Paradise is precious.

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