There are more than 4,000 acres of surface parking lots in and around Long Island’s downtowns—that’s about 6.5 square miles solely dedicated to parking. In September 2013, the Long Island Index announced the ParkingPLUS Design Challenge to solicit innovative designs for parking structures, freeing up this valuable land for better uses. The design challenge paired four leading architectural firms with four Long Island communities: Utile, Inc. worked with Rockville Centre, LTL Architects worked with Westbury, Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design worked with Ronkonkoma, and dub Studios worked with Patchogue. Although each firm developed their design for a specific community, their ideas can be readily applied to downtowns across the Long Island region and around the nation. The challenge also included analyses of costs to build and maintain each of the parking structures, how to finance them, and economic benefits.The designs were released to the public January 16, 2014.
Together with June Williamson, Associate Professor of Architecture at The City College of New York/CUNY, author of Designing Suburban Futures and co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia, I had the great pleasure of coordinating this effort for the Long Island Index.