Laur Hesse Fisher
Jun 11, 2014
Hi Yiftach, Thanks for your contest suggestion! Could you expand upon this problem as it relates to climate change? This is important in order for us to run it on the Climate CoLab. Thanks! Laur Fisher For the Climate CoLab team
Jun 18, 2014
Hi, I agree with Yiftach in that parking is a problem. Nevertheless, the problem to be solved is not as much how to reduce parking areas, but how to reduce car-trip demand. Many cities have understood that parking policies are a very useful tool to reduce car-trips. By reducing parking spaces, charging for parking and/or limiting parking times car-trips are cut down. And of course, less parking spaces, less car-trip demand, and less GHG emissions! From the urban planning point of view, parking standards (parking spaces per constructed planned surface)can deeply promote sustainable modes (public transport, cycling, walking...). There are places in which new urban projects have been constructed with no parking spaces for private cars, and reserving a limited number of pàrking spaces for car-sharing vehicles. My proposal is that "Rethinking Parking Lots" should have a lot of "limiting parking lot areas, while providing functional transport alternatives.
Angélica Lara P.r.
Jul 2, 2014
Hi, Thanks for your proposal. I would like to have more details about the activities that you will promote.. are you thinking about reforestation, vehicle inspection program, urban plans? Regards
Aug 1, 2014
Hi all, and pardon my very late reply - I hadn't noticed the comments earlier. replying by order of comments received so far: 1. Laur - I don't have very solid numbers regarding the potential effects. But relying on the assertion that there is an area as large as Puerto-Rico covered in Asphalt, which radiates a lot of heat back to the atmosphere, and parts of which, at least, may be reused/reclaimed in ways that will reduce that effect, (e.g. by planting grass, or even just using dirt), or, even better, will help produce clean energy (putting solar panels as in www.solarroadways.com for example), I think that's worth considering the potential impact. Again, I can't tell whether that impact would be big enough to justify a CoLab contest. Perhaps one of our experts who is more knowledgeable about this can say if this is worthwhile pursuing. 2. Eva (tierracomunera) - thanks for you comment. I agree with you that reducing car-trips and using public transportation systems instead is a desired goal, and will help reduce emissions etc. We do have a contest on transportation systems, and I believe some of the proposals there indeed look at that. That said, “Parking lots are not going to disappear,” as Ben-Joseph said (http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2012/parking-lot-redesign-0313). Nor are we going to be able to abolish private cars very soon. So what I intended to propose with this potential contest is to discuss ways in which we can reduce some damage that is caused by existing lots, and perhaps even create some gains. It's just a narrower focus. I think that you proposal to consider limiting parking lot areas while providing functional transport alternatives is great, just wondering whether it's not a part of the "Transportation" contest in general. But I'm not sure. Perhaps it makes sense to combine into the Parking lots charge, and have the contest include both goals (limiting parking spaces, and reusing existing lots). If the contest is created, I assume there will be a few more iterations considering this. 3. Agelica - this is a great question. I don't have answers, and I'm not promoting any specific solutions. My intent in proposing this theme for a contest was exactly to drive the generation of proposals that will answer these questions. There can be many different ways to reduce heat emission from the lots, and many additional/alternative uses for their areas (even if lots are not eliminated. E.g. as I mentioned - the solar panels option. “I think every solution has to be quite contextual,” says Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, a professor of urban planning at the University of California at Los Angeles in the link I brought above, and I agree. So perhaps proposals received in this contest can include a portfolio of potential solutions, which planners and city officials can consider in their local contexts. I suppose the book has some of those, and I suppose we might get some more by asking our community. -- Overall, I agree with Laur, that we first need to have some assessment of the potential impact, before starting a contest. Thanks for your inputs!