Rethinking a lot : the design and culture of parking / Eran Ben-Joseph.

by Ben-Joseph, EranLooking glass.

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. ; MIT Press, [2012]Description: xx, 157 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9780262017336.Subject(s): Parking lotsLooking glass | Sociology, UrbanLooking glassNote: Contains bibliographical references and index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Short loan Central Saint Martins
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Printed books 725.38 ERA (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 54189195
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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.

Contains bibliographical references and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface (p. vii)
  • A Lot on My Mind (p. xi)
  • 1 A Lot in Common (p. 1)
  • Mediocrity (p. 3)
  • Demand (p. 8)
  • Functional (p. 9)
  • Occupied (p. 13)
  • Cost and Consequences (p. 17)
  • Lots of Lifestyles (p. 24)
  • Nature (p. 32)
  • Public Realm (p. 39)
  • Mental Domination (p. 45)
  • First and Last (p. 49)
  • 2 Lots of Time (p. 51)
  • Before the Car (p. 53)
  • Roads and Curbs: A Short History (p. 59)
  • From Street to Lot: Chaos to Order (p. 62)
  • From Center to Edge: Decline and Growth (p. 73)
  • From One to Many: Regulate or Not (p. 84)
  • From Black to Green: Adapt and Mitigate (p. 92)
  • 3 Lots of Excellence (p. 95)
  • Integration-In (p. 101)
  • Integration-Out (p. 105)
  • Flexibility = Complexity (p. 105)
  • Culture + Art (p. 109)
  • Event Place (p. 113)
  • Activism (p. 117)
  • Remediation (p. 118)
  • Gardens (p. 123)
  • Water (p. 127)
  • Design Attention (p. 129)
  • Musing a Lot (p. 135)
  • Notes (p. 139)
  • Other References (p. 149)
  • Index (p. 153)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Architects, planners, public officials, and all who build need to know that parking lots do not have to be tedious eyesores. In this three-part book, planning professor Ben-Joseph (MIT) demonstrates this using straightforward prose and adequate illustrations. First, prose, pictures, and appalling statistics document the damage and degradation caused by storing vehicles that are idle 95 percent of the time. Next, the volume discusses the history of parking, which led to the post-WW II dictation of parking requirements by specialists with a concern for adequate space and a disregard for the visual banality and surplus capacity required. The third part presents existing and proposed ways to mitigate the damage and even turn parking lots into community and civil assets. The suggestive examples are not always convincingly documented. For example, the author does not indicate where the missing but required parking is to be found when a parking lot becomes a marketplace. Nonetheless, he is persuasive: thoughtful design can reduce the deleterious environmental impact of parking lots, tame traffic, and find dual and even triple benefits to the public good. The book is sturdy and handsome with useful notes and bibliography. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. C. W. Westfall University of Notre Dame

Author notes provided by Syndetics

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 .