Solar Punk Futures: turn the parking lots into gardens/housing.
I would like to talk about an imaginative future. While apartment hunting and walking through downtown, it struck me how much space is used for parking.
Note: I'm not an urban planner / architect, just someone with a blog. And this is a speculative post, I haven't dived into the GIS data for Syracuse parking lots fully yet.
I would like to talk about an imaginative future. I'm from Syracuse NY, a city designed around the car which has resulted in many parking lots in the city center. Syracuse is on a quest to increase in-fill housing and raise it's density though, so positive thoughts that this culture will change. While apartment hunting and walking through downtown, it struck me how much space is used for parking.
The idea of turning parking garages into parking garages into housing is relatively new but exists at least in the R&D of some firms. From my reading the issues are typically around parking requirements that exist.
But the idea of turning parking lots into gardens to address food insecurity is not:
And roof top gardens aren't either:
So what if we combined the two to address growing food insecurity and housing availability?
What if with urban farming and modern green houses you turned the parking lots into housing and food production?
Basement - Rain collection tanks
2nd floor - green houses tended to by the apartment dwellers (example something like Bowery Farms but scaled down - I'm not sure if you could have some type of lens/mirror setup to funnel outside light into it - the scale would be determined by electricity costs).
3rd floor - apartments that are very space efficient with systems inside like Bumblebee Spaces.
Top floor - rain collection and solar panels.
I typed this imaginative future into the Firefly Image Generator by Adobe and got some very interesting results. Even when not specifying "Solar Punk" the images reflected the ideas.
Images below generated by Adobe Firefly https://firefly.adobe.com/
I hope we can achieve something like this to address growing food insecurity, and housing.