Describes the winning entry in the recent Gowanus Lowline Competition. The winning entry, which is described encapsulates the kind of far sighted bio-mimetic and bio-symbiotic urban design our country needs. Reading this post is like reading a how to book on healing the earth; and in particular healing the brownfield urban wastelands, very often built over per-existing wetlands.
Green roofs, green walls, green parking lots, shade trees, the greening of urban spaces in general, the restoration of urban waterways, wetlands and the re-greening of brownfield areas; can all be thought of as different techniques to nurture a green living skin over regions of urban development. While there are many important differences between each of these separate techniques as well as their underlying technologies they all share a common overarching goal of bringing an analog of the natural living green skin that characterizes the natural landscape back into our urban areas. They all promote the restoration and re-integration of these heavily populated areas back into the surrounding natural environment.
This, the second article in our three part series on green parking lots continues by looking at some of the green parking lot design techniques and materials and how they help make parking surfaces more environmentally friendly and improve the urban space most of us live in. It suggests how smaller lots and smaller parking stall sizes, both acting to reduce the overall size of the parking lot is the very first thing to consider when designing a green parking lot. It then goes on to discuss in some detail the subject of alternate pavers that can absorb rain, allowing it to infiltrate into the ground below and thus substantially reduce runoff.