Lots of Parking: Land Use in a Car Culture
When the automobile was first introduced, few Americans predicted its fundamental impact, not only on how people would travel, but on the American landscape itself. It was widely believed that cars and trucks would simply replace, perhaps even reduce, the amount of wheeled transport on public roads, and that former barns and livery stables, and curbside spaces, would easily accommodate the need for overnight storage and parking in daytime. The advent of mass-produced cars for the middle class, however, soon caused congestion, at the curb and in the right-of-way, from small midwestern farm towns to New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Lost of Parking examines a neglected aspect of America's infatuation with the automobile: the impact on America not of cars in motion, but of cars at rest. While most studies have tended to focus on highway construction and engineering improvements to accommodate increasing flow and the desire for speed, John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle examine a neglected but fundamental feature of the urban, and suburban, scene--the parking lot. the curbside to the rise of public and commercial parking lots and garages and the concomitant demolition of the old pedestrian-oriented urban infrastructure. In an accessible style enhanced by a range of interesting and unusual illustrations--including planning documents, vintage postcards, advertisements, and maps--Jakle and Sculle discuss the role of parking in downtown revitalization efforts, and by contrast, its role in the promotion of outlying suburban shopping districts. They look at how institutions such as hospitals, universities, and airports make room for parking, and the ways in which parking has been incorporated into our neighborhoods and residences. Like Jakle and Sculle's earlier works on car culture, Lots of Parking will delight and fascinate professional planners, landscape designers, geographers, environmental historians, and interested citizens alike.
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