Thursday, June 3, 2010

Urban Park(ing)

I am studying parking in urban environments because I want to know how it shapes its surrounding area. Does parking shape its surroundings or do its surroundings shape it? Take New York City for example. Driving is almost an inconvenience because once a person has arrived at their destination they have to search for a spot. Of course that is the case in most major cities, but the amount of people in New York enhances the magnitude of the situation. In fact, there are several sites that navigate a visitor through parking in New York. I think it is safe to say that in the case of older cities parking was designed around the already existing layout. This leads me into my next question. If the city originated before the need for parking then why is everything based around parking? Readings such as the Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability [Riverhead Books,2009], by journalist Davis Owen would have you believe that cities especially New York are all about public transit. While that is probably true for most of its residents where does that leave visitors? Anyone living outside of New York has to find alternative methods to enter and then get around the city. There is a certain importance on the limited parking within the city. If parking was of no importance then it would be free because so few people would use it. I am more inclined to believe that people would rather use public transit because of how difficult it is to find a parking space without having to pay an arm and a leg.

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