A proper pricing policy is an obvious tool that authorities have at their disposal to organize urban mobility, but lack of courage and the collective subconscious idea about free free parking as a civil right act is a serious disincentive to create another way of understanding urban mobility and parking policies. But in addition to pricing policies, smart regulation and a deep improvement in the design of these spaces (European cities getting smarter about parking policy) are needed for a comprehensive policy. Christopher Mims explained in Six reasons free parking is the dumbest thing you didn't know you were subsidizing some reasons why the traditional method of managing parking supply policies are a nonsense we are subsidizing (nothing is free, heat island effect, occupying valuable land space, etc.).
Below are some illustrative examples and ends of space may occupy these areas both in the center and the suburbs of some of the most prototypical cities:
Parking lots in suburban malls epitomise why we really need to rethink parking in a clever way. They have been traditionally designed to accommodate the maximum number of clients in their peak times (which means that most of the time are under-utilized). But this mono-functional zoning has been applied in car parks around the corporate headquarters of large companies outside of cities or of industrial and technology parks: And, of course, every sidewalk of street roads must dedicate space for parking. Hence, parking is one of the most significant features of our cities and Eran Ben-Joseph has published a very well detailed superb analysis of the impact of this reality and the transformative potential from urban design to provide them with alternative uses and less social and environmental impact. Rethinking a lot. The design and culture of parking is a proposal to turn this culture into a new way of thinking cities and public spaces beyond car predominance and low quality design derived from car culture dependency.
Strategies for improved spatial integration of these spaces in the city (rather than as barriers or discontinuities), redesign and equipment for recreational use (for example, in the parking lots of large shopping centres or sport stadiums and other facilities), flexibility for shared functions (should parking use be really exclusive everywhere?), using new materials rather than simply paving, supporting its use as cultural exhibition spaces, using them as solar farms, facilitating temporary reclaim in the style of the Park (ing) Day or similar parklet initiatives, ... are some of the alternatives addressed by the author. Of course, this point of view is accepting car culture predominance, not addressing how to avoid the idea of private car-centered mobility. For the author, it seems this is another battle but, in the meantime, new approaches to what already exists should be used. And asphalted parking spaces seem to be a suitable resource to make better use of them.
Rethinking parking is an approach that fits well with the idea of adaptive cities. If we need to activate all the resources and tangible and intangible assets, the significant area devoted to parking is one of the liabilities that could make a difference with little effort and in many cases, however, many social benefits in the form of social activation and maximum use of the city for alternative uses and to create new conditions of possibility in the use and enjoyment of the city.
- Parking y urban sprawl: un ejemplo extremo en Houston
- Aparcar en un mundo de petróleo barato
- Pastoral capitalism. El nacimiento de los parques tecnológicos
- Pastoral Capitalism. Cómo y por qué huyeron las empresas de las ciudades
- La creciente mancha urbana de Las Vegas
- Urbanismo adaptativo para tiempos de crisis
- Melbourne laneways. Every space matters
- Urbanismo adaptativo. Es tiempo de mientras tanto
- Notas sobre urbanismo adaptativo para EQUIciuDAD 2011
- Urbanismo adaptativo post-crisis. Huertos urbanos
- Urbanismo adaptativo post-crisis. Solares vacíos como huertas solares urbanas
- La hora del urbanismo no expansivo
- Reconversión urbana. De centro comercial a centro universitario
- Mientras tanto. Recuperar lonjas comerciales sin actividad para usos comunitarios