REAL ESTATE THAT’S MORE PRECIOUS THAN YOU THINK
It’s now more than just an afterthought, as it has long been mandated by laws and regulations to be part of the building design.
There should be a certain number of parking slots per square meter of floor area or per number of usable contained units. It’s a result to a ratio, that’s always thought to be minimal; but parking space are more valuable than they’re often perceived to be.
I just saw a video about this; and I was surprised to learn that New York has 18% of its land area dedicated to parking. I thought that was bad; but it was nothing compared to San Francisco’s 31% and even more so to Los Angeles’ 81%! How accurate or updated these numbers are — weighs little compared to the force of concern they have generated.
The headquarters of Steve Jobs’ Apple, was aimed to be green with open spaces, plants and trees, natural lighting, less air conditioning, etc.; but it has more parking area than office and laboratory area — 325,00 sqm. versus 318,000 sqm! In Cupertino, apparently, 1 slot is required for every 285 sq. ft. of office space.
While building codes vary across cities or nations, the measure of relevance of our message should nary differ.
Yes, we’ve given up ginormous precious real estate to idle cars. Cars are essential, but not irreplaceable.
Replaceability is our key word for the moment. There are opportunities being lost and that is the high cost of parking spaces. To illustrate, let’s take a look at Amsterdam and how they, intentionally, took out parking spaces, and replaced them with more life-filled, vibrant, and scenic alternative uses.
That is just to illustrate how a nation has seen the problem and provided alternatives as solution.
One fact I always highlight in this channel is this: LAND IS FINITE. There is limited supply for it, while the demand for it continues to grow. “Land” or real estate can be (in a sense) artificially increased by constructing vertically, meaning erecting buildings; but the fact remains, there are competing uses for them.
To cite a few of those uses essential to humans, WE NEED LAND for:
- FOOD. Space is needed for pastureland, planting farms, and other agricultural activities.
- Living spaces or homes.
- Economic or money-making activities – offices, factories, shops, etc.
- Interconnectivity in forms of roads, rails, bike lanes and walking paths.
- Its natural resources.
- Keeping the ecological balance.
As real estate professionals and students, let us be challenged with this dilemma.
How should we allocate and prioritize land use? What proportion should parking space take? Parking is a real need while we need cars for mobility.
Technology has provided some ways of coping with the high demand of parking space in high-value locations in the form of mechanized and automated systems. These are a few examples of such, already in current use in many countries.
Planners with Sustainability in mind have advocated for the reduction of distances between major points of destinations. Additionally, alternative modes of mobility should be provided that are fast, efficient, safe, and can handle bigger volumes of commuters. Herein the value of Green Design is elevated. Not only do we save on energy, but on many other resources, including LAND or Real Estate.
In this channel, we are prod to think of ways on the best utilization of land, and thereby helping in improving our lives. Real Estate Development is beyond land, concrete, glass or steel; business architecture and engineering. It’s about us, people; and the lives we live.