Sprawl retrofit: A strategic approach to parking lot repair

Emily Talen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The idea of retrofitting sprawl into something more sustainable has become an important part of current planning practice. This paper makes a contribution to the suburban retrofit/sprawl repair literature by targeting one dimension of sprawl: parking lots. I propose a pragmatic, spatially explicit series of steps whose end product is a phased plan for parking lot rehabilitation. The method emphasizes spatial context - who and what are near parking lots - combined with information about the level of parking need, public space requirements, and investment potential. Phoenix, Arizona, is used as a case study, but the method could be replicated in any city. The method is forward-looking in that it relies on a change of attitude about cities and their form, a deeper concern for urban space that would need to coincide with changing behaviors and attitudes, and the creative implementation of retrofitting strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-132
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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