ReThinking a Lot by Eran Ben-Joseph
The Design and Culture of Parking

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Mr. Ben-Joseph is...guilty of sociological overreach. "Parking lots are a central part of our social and cultural life," he writes, calling them "a modern-day common." Wait, what? They are?
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Synopsis

There are an estimated 600,000,000 passenger cars in the world, and that number is increasing every day. So too is Earth's supply of parking spaces. In some cities, parking lots cover more than one-third of the metropolitan footprint. It's official: we have paved paradise and put up a parking lot. In ReThinking a Lot, Eran Ben-Joseph shares a different vision for parking's future. Parking lots, he writes, are ripe for transformation. After all, their design and function has not been rethought since the 1950s. With this book, Ben-Joseph pushes the parking lot into the twenty-first century.

Ben-Joseph shows that parking lots can be aesthetically pleasing, environmentally and architecturally responsible, and used for something other than car storage. He introduces us to some of the many alternative and nonparking purposes that parking lots have served -- from RV campgrounds to stages for "Shakespeare in the Parking Lot." He shows us parking lots that are lushly planted with trees and flowers and beautifully integrated with the rest of the built environment. With purposeful design, Ben-Joseph argues, parking lots could be significant public places, contributing as much to their communities as great boulevards, parks, or plazas. For all the acreage they cover, parking lots have received scant attention. It's time to change that; it's time to rethink the lot.

 

About Eran Ben-Joseph

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Eran Ben-Joseph has worked as a city planner and urban designer in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning at MIT, he is the author of The Code of the City (MIT Press) and coauthor of Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities and RENEW Town.
 
Published February 17, 2012 by The MIT Press. 184 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Below average
Reviewed by Dan Neil on Apr 13 2012

Mr. Ben-Joseph is...guilty of sociological overreach. "Parking lots are a central part of our social and cultural life," he writes, calling them "a modern-day common." Wait, what? They are?

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