“In a congested area the building of a parking structure may have a powerful effect on land values and the amount of development by rendering that location more accessible” Levy, J. (2003). Contemporary Urban Planning (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

With the main concern of government intervention, or lack there of, the division of political views is also apparent in planning and how much of an influence a written plan should have on the development of an urban area. Since left-wingers are usually advocates for a stronger central government, I am going to assume that they are also the ones who believe in government advocacy in the development of a master plan, and for it to be followed closely and taken strongly into consideration while implementing constructive changes to a city.

Much of this depends upon public investment and land use, involving higher levels of government, supported by the left side.  We must consider infrastructure as a large contributor to an equal distribution of mixed land use, whether it is industrial, commercial, or residential.

An example for this in which I have recently encountered are vertical parking decks in New York City. In such a heavy populated urban area where public transportation runs by the masses of all different types, and people are constantly driving through and in and out, for business, living, or tourist purposes, you can imagine that parking garages are very useful. You can probably find one at every corner and intersection, most of which are underground, or taking up horizontal land mass that could be used for something else. Then again, most fast-paced New Yorkers have the wherewithal to scramble around for street parking for the sake of saving money. Most parking garages overcharge for you to park your car for the day.

This past weekend I came across a parking garage that I have never experienced before. This parking garage took up space vertically, much like expansion ideas for the 20th century city that modern architects like Louis Sullivan had in mind. The designers of this parking garage wanted to expand vertically, whether to be more environmentally efficient, or to pay lower property taxes, and looked to structural rationalism. Nonetheless, the father of skyscrapers and modernism would be proud. The cars stood on platforms that were stacked on top of each other that could be automatically raised or lowered. They charged a lot less than typical parking garages that display signs saying “30 dollars any half hour,” where the employees couldn’t even give you an exact price or definition of that phrase. Their rates are set and are most likely lower than the norm because they take up less horizontal land mass. Maybe if more parking garages were designed similar to this one, we would be able to build more compactly and vertically. Maybe we would even reach the outcome of the zoning saturation study for New York City.

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