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Parking Plus Downtown La

Part 2 Project 2001
Markus Randler
Universität Stuttgart Stuttgart Germany
PARKINGPLUS
is a study and a story on the dirty cham of parking lots in downtown Los Angeles - a strategy to unplug their urban potential beyond parking.

Parking belt consists of 75 blocks with more than 50% parking. It is is both an infrastructure, feeding the office towers, and a trench between the very rich and the very poor. Its schedule: packed five days a week from nine to five, deserted during the rest of time.

PARKINGPLUS is based on temporary programs, which take place or expand when the parking lots are empty. Instead of masterplanning by authorities, the area will be altered by appropriative actions of individuals and small groups. PARKINGPLUS changes urban software rather than built environment and aims at attracting a wide spectrum of users, who will mix up downtown habits. The rule to guarantee variety: within one cluster of five blocks, there will be one lot of each of the following categories: cultural parking, landscape parking, action parking, traditional building, and hyperdense parking; the last one being a sponge, which absorbs the parking which is lost on the other blocks. thus the required number of parking will be maintained at 100%.

A support website, www.parkingplus.net, acts as an open platform for everyone involved in the process. Planned and realized transformations are added to an online catalogue for exchange and inspiration.

PARKINGPLUS changes the city's strongest tendencies, those of gentrification, separation, and privatization of public life by setting the lever at the Angelenos' most important feature, their cars, and the spaces required to support car based life - the parking lots.

Markus Randler


PARKINGPLUS
is the title of a thesis project, which evolved within the framework of LABS-studio, a co-operation of universities in Los Angeles, Berlin, and Stuttgart.

The focus of the student's project is the downtown of Los Angeles as a ghettoised place in parts due to failures in urban planning. The project started from a personal and profound analysis during a field trip with workshop at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. It evolved to a most independent and visionary, yet extraordinarily logical and realizable concept.

The work of this student is an exemplary and relevant argument dealing with the phenomenon of the metropolis, its identity and branding. It is a contribution towards new strategies and communication as a continuum of research, analysis and visionary result.

The project Parkingplus is based on the idea of multiple use of existing parking lots - concretised by intelligent and beautiful strategies targeting the needs of a multi-cultural society without being limited to the solutions of conventional town planning and architecture. Rather than that, the concept of the student is fresh urban research on American (post) urbanity projected through the eyes of a European.

2001
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