Regional and Urban Design Committee


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The Regional and Urban Design Committee (RUDC) aims to improve the quality of the regional and urban environment by promoting excellence in design, planning, and public policy in the built environment. This will be achieved through its member and public education, in concert with allied community and professional groups. Join us!

How should developers and cities prepare for the future of transportation?

  • 1.  How should developers and cities prepare for the future of transportation?

    Posted 03-08-2018 18:01


    "Everybody talks about the future of transportation - we don't." One is tempted to think that is developers adaptation of the nineteen-seventies slogan of the German Rail in which it claimed "everybody talks about the weather - we don't".
    Parking everywhere, even on waterfront piers

    How else to explain all the cranes towering over buildings sitting on top of giant parking garages which keep on being constructed either above or below ground, frequently even with those efficient sloping floors which prevent any other use than driving and parking cars on it.

    When asked about the dead investment that these garages represent, developers usually shrug their shoulders and refer to the banks who just want to see parking before funding a project. In a recent exchange between a Baltimore design review panel and a developer panelists asked if a 10 floor 550 space garage was really needed for the proposed 20 story office building. The developer said:
    "You need to supply what's good for the next five years, but technology is changing. We are flexible and open to any ideas that could work. We're going to study it." Gary Swatko, Merritt Properties
    The continued willingness to readily sink huge amounts of  capital into dead non revenue producing concrete is a curious thing, considering that typical developer projects (except retail) have a payback period that lasts decades if not half a century. Most transportation experts predict.... 

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    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
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