A Lot to Think About
We’re talking about the parking lot and the role that parking and parking lots play in our urban landscapes. It’s the subject of MIT professor Eran Ben-Joseph’s new book, Rethinking A Lot, a book that looks at the peculiar institution that is American parking. Today there are three non-residential parking spaces for every car. In cities like Orlando and L.A., parking lots are estimated to cover one third of the city’s space. As Joni Mitchell put it in her song "Big Yellow Taxi": "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
The design and function of parking lots- from the shopping mall, to the office park- have not been re-thought since the 1950’s. So is it time to push the parking lot into the 21st century? To turn these into beautiful public spaces that are also environmentally and architecturally responsible?
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Eran Ben-Joseph, professor of landscape architecture and urban planning at MIT, author of ReThinking A Lot
Jason Schrieber, pricipal at Nelson/Nygaard