Some people have been yelling it up around campus that they pretty much hate Impark because it slowly eats away at the heart of our city. This might be true, in whatever imaginary case a city might actually have a heart. Whether it calls for hate is another question entirely. Surely we’ve got better things to hate on than parking lots – anyone else have homework? Or are these lots really so inanimate and spacious to be that bothersome?
If anything, Impark is actually very much a part of the “heart” of our own and many other cities. People often drive to their jobs and since there’s a lot of jobs downtown, it makes a bit of sense that a lot of parking is probably going to be deemed a relative necessity which might even go on to take priority over clean air and exercise.
Impark is notorious for providing a lot of people with a place to park, who then may go off to have an enjoyable day at work or whatever. Impark provides some open space, charges a nominal fee, and then we all win. Sure, there’s some potentially better uses for available space within the core of our expanding city, but making a square profit – or as much as we can – off some good old clear and empty ground in a heavily trafficked area is pretty much a no-brainer.
But anyway, even after we decide we’ve finally accumulated some satisfactory profits, the space will still be thoroughly empty, and even pretty much ground-level. This space will still be perfectly suitable, then, for building or developing in whatever way we see fit with our beautiful piles of piles and profit that Impark surely reinvests, always, within the local economy.
This time, when and if we ever choose to redevelop the parking space into whatever we see fit, will be arguably crucial for the future direction of our urban enterprise and we will therefore have some explicitly crucial decisions to make. One of these explicitly crucial decisions shall no doubt be to decide what it is we see fit to take the place of that precious lot of beautifully empty, profit-making space.
Of course everyone will have their lovely opinions and they will all be gathered up for a peaceful and democratic discussion. Some will call for some more green space, some for more office space. Others will be after tennis courts, for sure, and some will be only at the meeting for the coffee. Some will have new ideas which have gone previously unheard, and some might be afraid to speak up. Some will call for a unicorn ranch. Someone impartial should mediate this discussion, but who’s ever really impartial except the profits?
Photo courtesy Emily Wright