adapting providence's parking lot crisis
Approximately 70% of usable building space in downtown Providence, Rhode Island has been converted into parking lots. It is thought by some to be more economical to tear down existing buildings and replace them with pay-to-park lots. As the parking lots themselves are often heavily used, opportunity lies in reoccupying the air space above the lots; juxtaposing what Providence has too much of, cars, with what Providence lacks the most, usable green space. Repurposing the space above the growing number of parking lots in Providence would help the city become healthier and more desirable, like cities such as Seattle, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and the like that
have similar coastal conditions to Providence in addition to accessible in-city green space. Downtown Providence houses little to no green space or parks. The East Side of Providence, home to RISD and Brown University, maintained much of their historic charm, including an abundance of trees and green area not easily or allowably accessible to the public. Many describe Providence as three cities entirely: the East Side, Downtown, and the West Side. I believe they can become one through integrated green space.
Parks and natural elements of the original Providence landscape can be incorporated into the current downtown landscape to promote the health and economic development of the community, while filling preexisting lost space above parking lots without sacrificing necessary parking opportunities. This project rethinks the concept of lost space in order to revive and reinvent Providence’s rural landscape and make Providence’s Downtown a healthier, more desirable, city to live in.