Carbon Hinterlands  

Research Project

When autonomous vehicles enter our everyday lives, parked cars will disappear from our cityscape. With this change, parking garages in our city centers will also become superfluous. Parking garages built of prefabricated reinforced concrete offer an enormous load-bearing capacity due to their construction. But also a burden of legacy. Only under high carbon expenditure to remove, we should seek for new lives of these buildings in our cities. What if we start instead of cars to park farming? Parking garages are also a way to bring back the hinterland into our cities. An ideal ground for local vertical farms, and the possibility to return biodiversity back to the cities. 

This series re-imagines parking as parks – abandoned parking lots adhoc refurnished by urban farmers, gardeners, and animals. 

What happens with carbon intensive practices, and structures in a carbon negative future? Causing 10% of greenhouse gases, feeding and grassing of the 98million cattle/ cows takes approximately 1,016.5 million acres, or about 42% of the total U.S. land area. Compared, car parking consumes 5.5 million acres or 0.15% of the US land area, roughly the same footprint as used for residential buildings.

Repurposing parking structures in Italy.  Given that most parking structures are constructed inexpensively using prefabricated concrete, they can be swiftly dismantled, reshaped, and reassembled.
Lab for Environmental Design Strategies
Austin, London, Innsbruck.