Greater City Providence

Design Observer: Review and Essay – Rolling to a Stop

We’ve walked past them off Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, on Market Street in Philadelphia, on Washington Street in Boston just one block from the Common. They edge crowded sidewalks beneath skyscrapers and atop subway stations. They cover some of the most valuable real estate in the nation, in apparent contradiction of the natural laws of development. They are surface parking lots. In most American downtowns they are so widespread that the voided lot, not the solid building, is the base condition. They are constructions of essential minimums: A sheet of asphalt, an attendant’s booth, floodlights for nighttime. Nothing more than what is required to store cars and collect money.

This essay and review is written by Rhode Island resident Ian Baldwin and references our Parking Crisis map. It is a good, somewhat lengthy read on parking at a review of Eran Ben-Joseph ReThinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking. Worth a read.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

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