Parking Lots Consume Lots of Land
Do we really need as many parking spaces on the campus as the City’s land development regulations say we do? We are currently working on the re-positioning of an older Life Plan Community. During construction, most of the staff is parking off site and being shuttled onto campus. The system is working nicely. But beyond that, do we really need 2 parking spaces per dwelling unit? Our innovative client is considering starting an in-house car rental company. Think car-share on steroids. And how will ride-share options like Uber and Lyft impact the need for storing cars on site? What about driver-less car technology? Suffice it to say that the times, they are a changin’.
So here’s another Great Idea that the New Urbanism provides for Senior Living: Rethinking Parking. The Charter of the New Urbanism says that streets should be framed by architecture and landscape design. But, if we develop our sites with a sea of asphalt parking – how does that affect walkability and the livability of our neighborhood?
Research on Old Pasadena shows an amazing change that has taken place since the off-street parking requirements were removed. Now, rather than the derelict downtown of the ‘70s, there is a much more vibrant and enjoyable concentration of activity and of people.
If you are fortunate enough to locate a senior living community in an urban area, you will most likely have a parking structure. Wrap it with liner shops so that the parking structure is located behind them, not on the street. Maintain a vibrant streetscape as part of the public realm; when you do, you’ll be enhancing wellbeing!
Baby Boomers Don’t fit the Profile – They’re not like their parents! Providers are shifting to a lifestyle centered around entertainment, leisure, and wellness in order to remain relevant to the new market. We believe that a lot can be learned from the New Urbanism about enhancing wellbeing for tomorrow’s seniors. This is the 2nd in a 7-part series highlighting Great Ideas for the Aging Services Industry from the principles of New Urbanism.
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Brad Smith Associates, Inc. is a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm serving the aging services industry. Our approach puts people first, focusing on their unique needs while cultivating a deep sense of community. That is done by using a rational problem-solving method, infused with Imaginality™, combining the five key components of PLACE-Creation into our designs:
Planning - Applied foresight to achieve your project goals
Lifestyle - Delivering a better result for people by understanding their needs and lifestyles
Aesthetics - The aesthetics of a property speak to the "brand essence", greatly affecting marketing.
Community - a sense of meaning, identity and belonging for the people living there
Economics - informed decision-making on the front end during the design process can yield significant dividends on the back end (by reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs).
We're landscape architects and planners by profession, and we love putting our talents to work to create value for you.
How can we help you maximize your potential in the marketplace? We'd like to learn more about how we can help you achieve great things - whether that involves planning new construction, making repairs or renovations, or completely re-positioning your product offering.