When the automobile became more prevalent, cities that were designed for walking and the use of horse and carriage were unable to accommodate the new parking need. For that reason, large fields were replaced with parking lots. While incredibly important in the modern day, they are not aesthetically pleasing and take away from space that could be used by the community.
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Combining natural beauty, environmental protection, community interaction, and practicality is intention of this project. The setting is currently a surface-level parking lot near a high-school, a park, and a neighborhood.
The proposal is to replace this parking lot with a below grade parking garage with the garage’s ceiling being a grass field at street level, to keep the area looking clean and natural. Underground parking will benefit the cars as they will no longer be open to the elements such as rain, sun, and snow. Above the parking lot will be a grass field and trees around the perimeter which will absorb CO2, be more aesthetically pleasing than asphalt, and provide a location for benches for people to socialize.
Users will be students and park goers––who already park in the existing lot––of all physical abilities, athletes who will be able to play in the football field sized area, spectators, and neighbors.
This structure relates to the Sustainable Development Goal of “Good Health and Wellbeing” as it will be open to anyone in the community––unlike some current fields––where people can play, exercise, and socialize. Additionally, it relates to “Sustainable Cities and Communities” as it improves upon the current infrastructure, making it more beautiful and more environmentally friendly.
Above is the rooftop garden for the Houston Medical Center (Texas) parking ramp. The rooftop garden allows for more space for community, is attractive, reduces stormwater runoff, and absorbs carbon dioxide. I like that there are different “rooms” created by the orientation of benches, tables, and plants.
Thank you for spending time reading about my interest in providing sustainable open space in the community, please do visit this final survey to provide me feedback.
Fuller information and research bibliography can be found here: