Increasing the numbers and scale of mixed-use development across the country has many
benefits. However, it does pose certain challenges and opportunities. Drawing large numbers of people to one place with many options for activities raises an important question: Where will everyone park? Even though people are able to walk to any number of destinations within the concentrated area once they are inside, many will still need to drive there, and have access to safe, convenient, and easy-to-find parking. The location, appearance, and integration of the parking facility into the mixed-use development are critically important to the success of each development.
The most important objective is to enhance pedestrians’ connection to public places. Walking distance is important in the minds of parking patrons and it will definitely contribute to their level of satisfaction.
Parking density frees space for landscape. If all parking can be concentrated into one area, it will allow for more room to be creative with the visual appearance of the garage, and therefore become a safe and inviting destination. Additional space may be preserved as open green space, or a public plaza to serve patrons and create a gathering place for patrons and consumers. This is a growing trend in mixed-use developments that serves to reinforce and build community in a location.