Category : Links

2004 April 5

Hence parking, hence civilization

I don't have any kind of essay of my own here -- reality must be faced: respectable essay-writing requires too much time and effort from me for me to do it very often -- but I do have some really good links on urban planning.

Review of Edge City, by Joel Garreau: ... And just as there's a dilemma in how to turn an edge city into a genuine community, it turns out that there's a fundamental parking dilemma too. The basic unit of density in an edge city development is the ... Floor-to-Area Ratio, which Garreau describes this way: "It is the developer's fundamental calculation of urban density, hence traffic, hence parking, hence human behavior, hence civilization."

... One of the things that developers find most perplexing is government bureaucrats and planners: "These people, developers believe...have self-evidently preposterous ideas about how human nature works in the real world."

Similarly, parking as destiny:

The fabric of the city: Every study done on this issue has shown that parking supply is a key determinant of urban auto use. Major additions of parking to the area will inevitably foster a higher level of car use there and on connecting highways, avenues and streets.

From the same lovely rambling paean, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden presents The City as Expert System:

The fabric of the city: It accommodates the press of its population by doing what it does quickly. This is a big source of visitor interaction problems. They expect that slow newbie-friendly graphical user interface they’re used to from suburban malls, fast-food chain outlets, and the interstate highway system. What they get is a Greek immigrant who expects them to rattle off “butteredpoppyseedbagel coffeelightnosugar” and not need to be told that now is when you pay for it. We’re not unfriendly. We just know there are people in line behind us.


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