How Parking Can Be Greener, Better Designed, & More Available

A discussion on parking with regional and national experts.

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Paul Wessel
Paul Wessel is the executive director of the Green Parking Council. Photo:Chion Wolf
Paul Wessel's shirt
Photo:Chion Wolf
Tom Condon
Tom Condon is a columnist for the Hartford Courant. Photo:Chion Wolf
John Schmid
John Schmid is the CEO and Chairman for ProPark. Photo:Chion Wolf
How Parking Can Be Greener, Better Designed, & More Available
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How Parking Can Be Greener, Better Designed, & More Available

Some of you may actually be in moving cars right now, listening to this show, but the average automobile spends 95 percent of its life parked somewhere. 

Your car might be parked at work for a while, and that big employee parking lot uses up a lot of valuable space and throws off a lot of heat on summer days.

But in a whole series of other locations, planners and developers have had to provide other spaces for your car, just in case you decided to go there. All of those parking spaces cost money, and the manner in which they're built affects the environment and uses up space that could be used for other purposes. Most parking lots and garages are eyesores. Writer Tom Condon, one today's guests, says 30 to 50 percent of urban space is eaten up by cars. There has to be a better way, and today on the show, we're looking at exactly that -- how parking could be better.

You can join the conversation. E-mail or Tweet us @wnprcolin.




Even before LEED's abandonment of the parking structure, people in and around the parking world were developing a certification tool specific to garages. You can read about and download the Green Garage Certification Handbook at


Just an FYI about green parking:

Parking garages were eligible for LEED certification up until the spring of 2011, when the US Green Building Council ceased to allow them into the program.

The reason they exclude parking garages is because they are classified as unoccupied structures. This classification has been under fire ever since.

Before then, LEED certified parking was popping up everywhere including very cool structures such as the Santa Monica Civic Center garage which runs completely on solar energy.