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Studio NAB wants to rehab parking lots into energy-producing urban gardens

Paris-based design firm Studio NAB has unveiled a proposal for transforming the traditional asphalt parking lot into an urban farming green space with solar-powered parking spaces. Created with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in mind, Studio NAB’s Car Park 2.0 rethinks the car park as a productive space that could generate green jobs, renewable energy and food. Retained parking spaces would be set on permeable paving, rather than asphalt, and could be connected with solar-powered charging stations to improve the site’s ecological benefits.

According to Studio NAB’s research, fine particulate pollution and automobile activity account for 48,000 deaths annually in France. In an effort to clean the air, combat climate change and reduce waste — the studio says that less than a quarter of the 4.5 million tons of plastic produced in the country is recycled — the designers have proposed an innovative idea for reclaiming parking lots and to transform the great expanses of asphalt into productive centers for new economic and ecological growth.

In the Car Park 2.0 concept, asphalt would be ripped up to expose the soils underneath, which would be rehabilitated or replaced to create a fertile growing environment. The studio promotes hyper-local production of food in the parking lots, a solution that they say would reconnect people to nature, encourage economic growth through the sale of garden spaces and locally grown food, and create local jobs. 

Studio NAB proposes implementing the redevelopment scheme in five phases: removing and recycling the asphalt surface; treating the soil, replanting the areas, and adding stormwater retention ponds; building metal-framed structures overtop each parking lot space to support shading devices or solar panels; installing renewable energy equipment and storage; and finally, opening the site up for the creation of food and green energy. The number of parking spaces would be dramatically reduced and the new “ecological parking spaces” would be topped with awnings that can produce solar energy or algae via photobioreactors

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