While the place of the car in large urban centers is set to change profoundly and real estate pressure continues to increase, the idea of converting certain parking spaces into homes is gaining ground.
When theleave the cities, the car parks are emptied in turn. All over the world, parking spaces are becoming an asset for the city of tomorrow. In Paris, Portland, Barcelona or Stockholm, the made it possible to expand restaurants, open rest areas, play areas and cinemas in the middle of .
In the United States, large car parks could even be considered as ” an innovative solution to the lack of affordable housing in cities », According to Wes Guckert, president of the Traffic group, a company of engineering of the traffic and the planning of the transportations, in the media Smart Cities Dive.
The real estate market in the United States needs 5.5 million newto meet housing needs, according to a report published by the National Association of Realtors and produced by Rosen Consulting Group. So rehabilitate in apartments would be a solution to reuse abandoned spaces.
Regulatory obstacles to be removed
« Enterprising operators are now doingon city planning and zoning councils across the country to ease restrictions so they can rearrange their underused Writes Wes Guckert.
These aspirations come up against some obstacles. The law in the United States provides for all new housing a certain number of parking spaces accordingly, and the reluctance of town planning councils. In addition, rules specific to certain states may come into play, such as the seismic standards in California.
According to Wes Guckert, theas such are ” relatively easy to do », Pointing to the fact that the dimensions of the garages are universal and that the connections to electricity already exist. In 2018, a garage in the city of Wichita (Kansas, United States) was transformed to give life to 44 apartments. It is one of the most often cited examples of the transformation of urban centers. Recently in the town of Bolton, on the outskirts of Manchester, developers have signaled their intention to transform a covered in a complex of 116 apartments and a gym. “ By making these half-empty garages viable again, cities across the country can take a big step towards keeping their city centers vibrant. », Concludes the specialist, West Guckert.