Finding street parking in major cities goes one of two ways. The first, being far less frequent, happens when the parking gods look down upon you and a spot opens up from the heavens. The latter details my typical street parking experience – 30+ minutes of searching only to find a questionable spot, much further than I would have liked to walk. As far as parking solutions go, we have quite a few of those. I won’t bore you with the details, so let’s leave it at that. The question this brings up – is street parking really necessary? Why not do away with it? And if so, what can we put in its place?
A common struggle across most, if not all, major cities is a lack of green space. Metropolises are finding creative solutions to bring a little nature back into the concrete, high-rise landscape. Back in 2009, New York revitalized the High Line from an old freight rail that was no longer in use, into a garden-filled walking oasis that now stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 34th. Chicago has embraced the green-roof movement by not only bringing a little mother nature back into the city, but also providing its residents with healthy, locally grown produce, straight from a roof top.
So, why not transform these inefficient concrete slabs into something good for people and good for the environment? Well, it’s being done. The term has been coined PARK[ing] and we love everything about it. Instead of allocating huge sections of a city to parking spaces that are both inefficient and difficult to maneuver into, people are setting up miniature parks equipped with grass, trees, and even a bench or two. Amazing, right? This is a mobile example from Bondi Beach, Australia. That’s right – a moveable park.
Simple in idea, small in scale, but these parklets have the potential to completely change how we walk through our cities. Food for thought NOLA - can you imagine the CBD streets lines with miniature parklets? Or maybe park floats are our next big thing? We love being at the forefront of the parking industry for reasons like this. If we can perfect the parking experience off the streets, we can impact how we explore our cities.
Until next time, happy PARK[ing]!
written by Angelle Lambert