Paved Paradise

Jun 4, 2012

Picture a parking lot....what comes to mind? A sea of asphalt, white lines, birds pecking at discarded food. Don’t forget the stray shopping carts, bright lighting at night, and blinding glare by day. Not the most pleasant place.

But to Eran Ben-Joseph, a parking lot can be much more: a place with trees and grass, maybe solar panels; a functional, even pleasant gathering place. His new book, ReThinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking, considers the parking lot, a place he says can be designed more sustainably, with community-building in mind.

Not everyone’s sold on the idea of making them better. Two of our guests, Norman Garrick and Chris McCahill from UConn, say we just need fewer of them.

What do you think about parking lots - should we put effort and money into improved design? Or should we focus instead on eliminating them?