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City Planning: The Parking Lot

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No one can seem to measure just how many parking spaces inhabit our fair land. Michael Kimmelman culls various studies in his NY Times article that estimate anywhere from 105 million to two billion parking spaces dot the country. If you take a middle-of-the-road number, that's still enough parking to more than cover the area of Rhode Island plus Delaware. And a third of that parking is contained in parking lots. Kimmelman looks at the implications of this for cities short on green space, and potential solutions delivered by movements like Parking Day and new prototype designs. Basically, we need new ways of coping with our parking addiction. As Lewis Mumford once wrote, "The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is the right to destroy the city." [NY Times]