What is the impact of adding mixed-use elements to a parking garage?

4 years ago by in Architecture & Engineering

Whether an entire new mixed-use development is planned, or parking is being added to an existing location, the goal is to create a “people place.” A people place is defined as an area where visitors have a variety of activities available in one place, from retail and restaurants, to offices and community spaces. It incorporates a “sense of place,” fosters community identity, and leaves a lasting positive impression, encouraging patrons to return. Including attractive open spaces, such as landscaped areas or courtyards, facilitates community within a development, creating an inviting. The appeal of this type of destination is increased by density – planned in close proximity to other uses, such as transportation centers or entertainment venues, adds significant value to the project.

To best utilize available space, these destinations can be incorporated into the garage design. Many garages add retail and restaurant space at grade level, and office space to the lower levels. This reduces walking distance, as well as minimizes the presence of the structure. These elements activate the street level, adding life and activity, and most importantly, people. These design elements create a much safer and more pleasant streetscape, while enhancing the walking experience.