MAPC Book Club

Thursday, July 26th - 12:30p
@ MAPC, Third Floor, 60 Temple Place, Boston [map]


Parking lots are a mainstay of the 21st century city. With an estimated 600,000,000 passenger cars worldwide and 500,000,000 parking spaces in the US alone, lots take up huge amounts of land – in some cities, as much as one-third of the metropolitan footprint. With such a staggering presence, shouldn’t planners, designers and public officials be paying more attention to their potential? This is the question Eran Ben-Joseph will answer on July 26 when he come to MAPC to discuss his latest book, Rethinking A Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking.

Mr. Ben-Joseph, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning at MIT, set out to write the book in response to inquiries from students who wanted examples of great parking lots. He was surprised to find few. But as he dug into the subject further, he found a treasure trove of information and ideas on the history of the lot, creative and unconventional uses (like musical and theatrical performances) and ways to make the parking lot better.

In cities and suburbs alike, practicing smart growth and sustainability means making every square foot count. Parking lots in could be seen as the “final frontier” of the urban landscape, as we seek ways to green our cities and also make them more efficient, engaging and interesting. For those who doubt that the surface parking lot can be a environmental haven and cultural hotpot, showcasing tenants of both environmental and architectural responsibility (not to mention great urbanism), you won’t want to miss this talk!