Planned Obsolescence for Denver Parking

Denver developers are building parking that can be converted into housing, anticipating radical changes that autonomous vehicles could bring to city life.

2 minute read

October 22, 2016, 9:00 AM PDT

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark

In a forward-thinking move to anticipate some of the radical changes that could be coming from autonomous vehicles, Denver developers are building parking that can be converted into housing or retail. Their thinking, according to a story in the Denver Post by Emilie Rusch, is that as people switch to using autonomous vehicle services to drive them around, the need for personal vehicles will decrease dramatically and cities will be overstocked with parking.

Far from seeing this as the dreams of some far-fetched future, the development group, Denizen, has already started building for this eventuality. "The more than 700 above-ground parking spaces in the project’s first phase have been designed so they can be renovated into residential, office or retail space as future demand warrants," Rusch reports.

Thomas Fisher, Director of the Metropolitan Design Center at the University of Minnesota, hypothesizes that, "one shared autonomous vehicle, operating like today’s taxi or car-sharing services but without a human driver, could take as many as 11 conventional vehicles off the road." This vision of the future is more than academic in Denver; parking must be ready to be upgraded or, in some situations, it will be in violation of city code. "In Denver, the ground floor of stand-alone parking garages downtown are required to be suitable for conversion to an active, nonparking use in the future" according to City Planning and Development Supervisor Chris Gleissner.

Friday, October 14, 2016 in Denver Post

Aerial view of snowy single-family homes in suburban Long Island, New York

New York Governor Advances Housing Plan Amid Stiff Suburban Opposition

Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious proposal to create more housing has once again run into a brick wall of opposition in New York’s enormous suburbs, especially on Long Island. This year, however, the wall may have some cracks.

March 20, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Empty parking garage at night with yellow lines marking spots and fluorescent lighting

Rethinking the Role of Parking in the American City

In cities big and small, the tide is turning against sprawling parking lots, car-centric development, and minimum parking mandates.

March 16, 2023 - The New York Times

A futuristic version of New York City, with plants growing neatly on top of modern skycrapers.

Friday Eye Candy: 20 AI-Generated Cityscapes

AI-generated images are creating new landscapes and cityscapes, capable of inspiring awe or fear.

March 17, 2023 - Chris Steins via Medium

A group of wetsuit-clad swimmers gathers to talk in shallow water near the shore of the San Francisco Bay.

Proposed Pool Would Make an Olympic-Sized Play Area in the San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay is usually an undesirable place to swim, except for a hearty few. A development proposal seeking assistance at the state level would add a pool to the Bay’s waters to make the idea of going for a swim more appealing.

March 24 - The Mercury News

Chicago elevated train over busy city street surrounded by high-rise buildings

Chicagoland Transit Agencies Call for State Funding as Budget Shortfall Looms

Illinois transit agencies want to see changes to a law requiring them to collect half of their revenue from transit fares, arguing that low ridership and staffing shortages will lead to a massive budget gap without intervention.

March 24 - Crain's Chicago Business

Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge

Panel: Minneapolis Zoning Updates Should Reflect Mixed-Use Future

A discussion of post-pandemic changes in work and commuting concluded that the city’s overhaul of its zoning code should be less restrictive with land uses.

March 24 - MinnPost

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.