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The Importance of Integrating Parking IntoMixed-use Development


BY ED RAHME AND MEGAN LEINART T


HE POPULARITY OFMIXED-USE town center developments has become a widespread trend throughout the United States in recent years. People are drawn to the convenience andwalk-


ability of such developments in part because they understand the damaging effects of traffic congestion and carbon emissions on their communities.


For many people, these adverse effects have led to an


increasing desire to live, work and connectwith others in amore dense, urban environment. Although living in more urban, walkable communities is


commonplace inmany areas throughout the world, the introduc- tion of the automobile into the United States has led to a large percentage of the population living outside the urban centers. The result of this desire for suburban living is a significant increase in vehicle miles traveled, disconnected communities and often unattractive development sprawl.


However, as development trends have shifted in recent years


toward the creation of mixed-use town centers, many people have come to realize the appeal and benefits of these communi- ties. They are designed to offer people the opportunity to live in proximity to a variety of destinations, including retail stores, res- idences, offices, restaurants and entertainment venues. While this trend results inmore convenient living andwork-


ing arrangements, it also helps to reduce dependence on the automobile. However, it does not eliminate the need for cars.As a result, it is important that new mixed-use communities be designed with an effective strategy to integrate parking. Two recently constructed town center developments illus-


trate successful strategies employed to integrate parking infra- structure. Both the Annapolis Towne Centre in Parole, MD, and the Towson Town Center in Towson, MD, succeeded in their plans to integrate parking to serve their demand require- ments, and designed buildings to harmonize with the sur- rounding environment. Annapolis Towne Centre incorporates more than 350 luxu- ry apartments and condominiums, numerous restaurants, a high-


The Annapolis Towne Centre development is a signature example of the effective integration of parking into amixed-use development serving a variety of uses including retail, residential and office space.


30 JULY 2010 • PARKING TODAY • www.parkingtoday.com


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