September 02, 2003
Michael Blowhard on car parking in Santa Barbara

Michael Blowhard has a piece about, could it be?, yes … car parks! (Loud guffaws break out in the Samizdata inner circle. Brian's on about car parks again. Fools, I tell you, fools.)

Michael focuses on Santa Barbara, because there, he notes (with photos to prove it) they've been doing car parks well just lately. Here's what he reckons is the overall lesson:

Overall lesson: despite our reputation as suburbia-lovin' city-avoiders, many Americans in fact clearly like the walking-around-downtown experience, and are willing to go to some (if not too much) trouble to find a downtown and have themselves a good time there, provided only that it's been made convenient, attractive and safe. Making car parks pleasant and attractive – and, as Santa Barbara does, cheap to use – can play a role in this. Cities hoping to score big revitalization points by investing tens of millions in a showpiece from a celeb-ritect such as Calatrava or Koolhaas might do well to give the state of their car parks some attention instead.

And who was the architect behind these Santa Barbara car parks anyway? Funny that he/she doesn't get anything like the kind of press a Calatrava or Koolhaas does ...

Many thanks to Brian and David for kicking this discussion off.

Which is me, and David Sucher of City Comforts Blog.

Although, I'm pretty sure that one of the things that got me pointed in this direction in the first place was the general attitude (certainly) and quite possible some particular thing they said that I don't now recall, of the 2 Blowhards themselves. To spell it out, I seem to recal being pretty sure that if I did some stuff about car park aesthetics, the 2 Blowhards would notice and approve, which would make me world famous in 2Blowhardshire, which I'm guessing is a pretty big place.

Here's a link to the posting I did here on Calatrava.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 02:30 PM
Category: Architecture