Old SoCal Parking Lots Envisioned as Clean Energy Generating “Forest”

Southern California is well-known for it’s car-culture and urban sprawl. But what do we do with acres on acres of SoCal parking lots when car sales sag into decline? Osborn Architects see them as potential green transport corridors bristling with solar panels and piezoelectric devices in a kind of urban forest or green way.

According to Inhabitat, the mile-long corridor known as the Brand Boulevard of Cars  in Glendale, California, takes up over 33 acres with asphalt lots, territorial fences, and oversized warehouses that the architects as Osborn envision overhauling into energy-generators, via a number of “skins” that would generate harness solar energy and the vibration of the city and passersby with piezoelectrics. Additionally, they see the entire boulevard embedded with a new system of multi-mobility options, turning Brand Boulevard into a green transit corridor connecting north to south.

Brand-Boulevard_Transformation

image via Inhabitat

It seems a fitting fate for an area that once bowed down before the automobile to make way for the low-carbon transportation options and clean, green energy. What if “urban forest” transportation corridors like this popped up all over the country? We might make our cities more livable while pre-empting urban blight  in the form of vacant car dealerships and lots.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.