Parking Madness Competition: Which Former Denver Parking Lots Improved the Most?

Enter Streetsblog USA's annual March Madness-style tournament by submitting former parking lots that became awesome urban environments.

Downtown Denver in the 1970s vs. today. Before photo: Nick DeWolf via Flickr
Downtown Denver in the 1970s vs. today. Before photo: Nick DeWolf via Flickr
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This 2016 visualization shows the roughly 237 acres of space in Downtown Denver devoted to surface lots and parking structures. Image: Denver Infill Blog

As basketball fans gear up for tournament season, Streetsblog USA is looking for parking lots around the country that went from blight to beautiful — including in the Denver area.

Our sixth-annual Parking Madness competition, we normally ask readers to help us compare some of the worst spaces in cities, surface parking lots, also known as parking craters.

But this year, the contest is taking an upbeat tone: We’re looking for former car storage areas that transformed from dead, ugly places into “awesome city spaces,” as Streetsblog USA writer Angie Schmitt put it.

“The above aerial [photo shows] downtown Denver in the 1970s vs. today is a great example of the kind of improvements cities can make with the right mix of attention, policy and investment,” she wrote.

To enter, send photos and a short description to Angie Schmitt at Streetsblog Just click the link or email angie@Streetsblog.org by Monday March 18.

  • LazyReader

    It’s not much of a challenge. You just put the building around the parking. Infact the top deck can be a greenroof to have private amenity space for residents/occupants.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe7d33c5305c00e3532ca1a2da84f3297c6b04b1a87de3b1f96608cc3b944504.jpg

    • Streetsblog Denver

      Thanks for this. Where is it? Denver?

      • LazyReader

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ab6f0ae6ead7080af37d0afa4cdd93f21f42e1d8ca242950b9def74e2c0d72ce.jpg Florida I believe. But it’s easily replicate-able in any city with large urban block. Small urban blocks like Portland, etc you’re outta luck.

        Parking decks are a necessity, So there is no reason why they can’t be
        made visually interesting or even handsome in city streets. Since no one likes the thought of parking decks as civic infrastructure; it’s challenging to make them something that one wants to
        enter. But the turn of the century the transit and train stations of the 20th century were equally attractive. No reason our garages and car infrastructure cant do the same such as with public amenities with parks and gardens, playgrounds, etc.

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