Parking lots = urban decay
Here's an interesting report
about parking lots and the demise of American cities. The study looked at the cities of Hartford, New Haven and Cambridge. The first two cities never clamped down on the creation of new surface parking lots. But Cambridge banned new parking lots in the mid '80s. Guess which city is thriving today?
OK, so it's not as simple a correlation as the study suggests. Other factors played a role in the demise of Hartford and New Haven. The Hub Blog family has strong ties to New Haven, and I can assure you New Haven once fully embraced "urban renewal" and every other crackpot government idea about how to improve cities. Yale University played its own sorry role in the demise of its home town. Officials in New Haven have only recently begun to treat the city's own self-inflicted public-policy wounds.
But I think it's pretty obvious surface parking lots, sitting on land where proud buildings once stood, are forms of urban blight. They're depressing. They kill street life. They're missing-teeth gaps within an urban environment.