Parking Podiums Kill Life on the Street

A Chicago Tribune Op-Ed implores planning and design officials to discourage the use of podium bases for buildings, which disconnect pedestrians from buildings.
December 17, 2003, 7am PST | Connie Chung
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"At their worst, these podiums can be concrete-faced boxes. Usually they are feebly decorated with fake windows or other doo-dads. Either way, these lifeless monoliths effectively cut off any interaction between the sidewalk and the building alongside and above them....Such interaction is what enlivens cities and makes streets vital arteries....Podiums have become common largely because of the city's insistence on off-street parking--the more the better--and quirks in the zoning code that make parking podiums a good financial deal." Some alternatives include requiring all parking to be built underground, or "more novel solutions, such as putting parking inside the guts of buildings and wrapping the outside with relatively shallow 'liner' housing or commercial space."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Saturday, December 13, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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