How Parking Minimums Beget Ugly Urban Environments

In the Pacific Northwest, and elsewhere, excessive parking requirements dictate the form and footprint of buildings, mostly to the detriment of urban environments. In a lavish photo essay, Alyse Nelson explores the damage inflicted by parking laws.
Brett VA / flickr

"Cars have shaped much of the North American West, including Cascadia, where drive-through restaurants, shopping centers, highway strip malls, and single-family neighborhoods miles from commercial services dominate much of the urban and suburban landscape," observes Nelson. "Less obvious to the casual observer is the impact that parking regulations have had on architectural forms."

"This photo essay looks at some of the ugly architecture in Cascadia that has resulted from parking minimums. Many of the photos were sent in by readers who responded to our request for examples from their communities."

What follows is a lengthy look at the ugly architecture found in Cascadia’s cities and towns, from "ubiquitous seas of suburban parking" to the “dingbat buildings” common throughout the West Coast.  

Full Story: Ugly by Law

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00