How can we make residential parking in cities more sustainable? There are some clever tools used by architects and urban planners. Let’s find out what these are.
Inverted Architecture and sustainable parking
Urban planners and city councils engage in a constant balancing act.
On the one hand, they need to ensure that there is enough built development for buildings (including houses, residential apartment buildings, commercial offices, community facilities, and parking).
On the other hand, they need to provide enough green spaces for recreational purposes.
Then as an overarching overlayer, we need to consider the impact of the built environment on our environment – carbon emissions, over-development, traffic congestion, noise pollution, and ultimately city liveability.
These challenges mean that urban planners are constantly looking for more sustainable solutions to integrate the facilities and infrastructure we need for our cities while balancing them with the provision of enough open green space for our communities. So what are some tools they use to make residential parking in our cities more sustainable?
We need a sparkle of genius in urban planning and architectural building design to achieve a harmonious balance.
We need green space and urbanization to co-exist in the context of a city-built footprint
Can inverted architecture maximize parking spaces while maintaining open green space?
We say, YES.
A great example of this is by London-based architects, Brisac Gonzales’. They designed a 16,000 m2 housing complex in Bordeaux, France with an inverted layout to maximise green space, and optimising living space.
This innovation showcases how an inverted layout can maximize the amount of greenery included in a designs can have, while never sacrificing parking or living space. It’s a simple but effective redesign of buildings and complexes.
A standard complex is commonly seen to have greenery at its center, where the buildings, houses, and parking lots surround that greenery, leaving the street to position itself on the periphery. These designs allow little room for proper gardens and wild habitats, because streets and buildings swallow what spare and valuable land might be available. Thankfully, the more sustainable solution is, in theory, simpler than you would think.
The inverted layout works like this. It’s structured in complete reverse to the standard layout, where all greenery lays on the periphery, and the buildings are connected back-to-back in a central position. This means that the same amount of space can is allocated for parking and living, while simultaneously maximizing high levels of plant life and vegetation.
Brisac Gonzales’ inverted layout 16,000 m2 housing complex in Bordeaux, France consists of:
🛍️ 1,400 m2 retail shopping on the ground floor
🚗 450 space green parking on the next 4 levels 🌱
🏠 Residential apartments and townhouses on the upper floors and rooftops with more gardens and terraces. 🌴
To make the parking levels even more attractive, Brisac Gonzales’ designed the interiors with a dynamic atmosphere drawing on features including:
🔹 vibrantly painted ceilings
🔹 integrated lighting scheme and reflective surfaces
🔹 expansive open floors giving high levels of sunlight
🔹 bringing the outdoor natural surrounding nature into the parking levels with cross-ventilation and views of the river
To take it one step further, they also added greenery to rooftops to enhance sustainability. Termed a ‘Green Parking Lot’, various efforts have been made to modify the traditional design of parking spaces to reduce their impact on the planet. By adding more plant life, not only do we improve the aesthetic of buildings by adding the appealing charm of nature, but we also drastically reduce the urban heat island effect. When areas are primarily made up of large zones of concrete and brick, the environment maintains a more intense heat level for a longer period of time. This results in longer summers with more severe heat waves. Plantlife offers the immediate solution to this, as areas with enough greenery integrated into concrete zones enable the environment to keep up and reduce the accumulating heat of an area.
To find out more about sustainable parking solutions, head over to our blog: How We Can More Sustainably Share Parking.
At thatsMYspot, we are committed to taking action for the future. Through finding parking solutions that make residential parking more sustainable in our cities, we are supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and 13 (Climate Action).
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