If you’re considering putting in a new church parking lot…

April 23, 2012 at 9:40 am 1 comment

Just so I don’t gain a reputation as some James Watt type, here’s an interesting article regarding earth-friendly parking lots. It’s even from the Wall Street Journal, for crying out loud. Anyone know a parking lot that they especially like?

Surface parking lots don’t have to be ugly. As Mr. Ben-Joseph notes, a canopy of trees is an easy way to relieve the visual awfulness of a typical lot. Trees also help mitigate parking lots’ contribution to the urban heat-island effect, in which vast stretches of blacktop act as thermal batteries, storing the sun’s energy and radiating it back into the air at night.

Mr. Ben-Joseph estimates that planting enough trees to shade 50% of the surface-lot area in the U.S. would remove 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere and return 822,000 tons of oxygen. Unfortunately, he also estimates that the area currently shaded by trees to be around 2%. That’s a lot of missing trees. Landscape design requirements for surface lots are typically weak and often left to developers’ most minimal—that is, cheapest—interpretation.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ray Selden  |  April 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Up in Orchard Park, NY we have regulations regarding green space in the parking … Not nearly enough to accomplish what you’re referring to, but more than it used to be. The only problem is the increase in emissions from plow trucks needing to navigate around the islands in the lot probably add more to the environment than simple radiant heat from exposed parking lots … Just my guess.


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