Constructing use in surface parking lots : strategies for enhancing lots as part-time public spaces
Author(s)Ziegenfuss, Kathleen Kane
Strategies for enhancing lots as part-time public spaces
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Design Program.
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Surface parking lots occupy vast amounts of land in urbanized areas-at times covering up to 40% of land in downtown areas in the United States. It is estimated that there are seven parking spaces for every vehicle in the nation; given that a vehicle can be in only one place at any given time, there are underutilized, vacant parking spaces all around us. This thesis argues that vacant parking spaces create an opportunity for more intense use of the land. It investigates which types of surface parking lots are best suited for which types of activities, based on physical design characteristics, multiple-use considerations, and a zoning and regulatory framework. It recommends the most attention is given to parking lots in neighborhood commercial areas and large surface parking lots that occupy entire city blocks. The thesis argues for the creation of more part-time public spaces through the use of underutilized parking lots. This argument is partially based on public spaces' social benefits, increased economic development potential, linkages with increased public health, and aesthetic-related benefits. Issues raised in creating public spaces on parking lots (both public and private lots) are addressed and possible approaches to overcome these obstacles are suggested. Strategies for creating more use on surface parking lots are identified from a municipal perspective, for those who coordinate events on parking lots, parking lot owners, and for developers.(cont.) The thesis concludes with a discussion on implementation of creating more use on surface parking lots through zoning standards, design guidelines, and publicity strategies. The thesis concluded with a theoretical discussion on the ideal types of conditions for increased use on surface parking lots. The overarching finding is that the challenge of constructing more use on surface parking lots is primarily an issue of having the will to work through the necessary bureaucratic codes and regulations; by posing strategies to help facilitate this process, a palette of ideas for creating more use on surface parking lots can be utilized by any interested stakeholders.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2009.Author also earned an Urban Design Certificate from the Program in Urban Design; a joint graduate program with the Dept. of Architecture and the Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.Includes bibliographical references (p. -).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Design Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning., Urban Design Program.