Parking Lots to Parks
This project asks the question, “What if parking lots were more like parks?” The way parking lots are designed today often means vast expanses of concrete and asphalt, lots of stormwater runoff, and an increased urban heat island effect.But parking lots can be designed and built more sustainably. This project will convene local architects, engineers and planners to determine how it can be done in the Kansas City region. Potential strategies include:
- Right-sized parking: Parking lots are often too big because they are built to accommodate maximum capacity instead of day-to-day use. This strategy encourages installing the minimum number of spaces instead of the maximum.
- Permeable pavement: Use materials that allow stormwater to be absorbed, instead of running off.
- Cool pavement: Cool pavements store less heat and may have lower surface temperatures compared with conventional products. Conventional pavements in the United States are impervious concrete and asphalt, which can reach peak summertime surface temperatures of 120–150 degrees.
- Landscaping: Design landscaping to absorb and filter stormwater runoff. Use plants that are suitable for local climate conditions.