Parking lot designed as an avenue
Parking lots are among the ugliest and most common features of the American landscape. They cost a lot of money, use tremendous land, and make much of our cities less walkable. Yet as long as we drive, we do need parking.
Parking doesn't have to be ugly. There are ways to provide far more value—such as turning your parking lot into a street and beautiful public space. The photo above is Birkdale Village, a new urban mixed-use town center in Huntersville, North Carolina. The central linear park provides more than 160 parking spots for visitors.
This photo is more than 10 years old. Today, the trees in the central space are taller than the buildings and provide a tremendous canopy of shade for the cars and people. But a photo today would not show the space as well, because the view is blocked by trees. And that's good. The experience on the ground is excellent. You wouldn't know you are in a parking lot at all. For the people who live above the shops, the space is an amenity.