This dissertation examines parking phenomenon that is indicative of broader strategies in urban transformations. Throughout the analysis, parking remains a physical counterpart of more immaterial negotiations between business owners and residents, car manufacturers and city planners, drivers and city planners, traffic engineers and architects.
Such embeddedness makes it impossible to carve parking out of its urban conditions. Therefore, the case study research method appears to be the most suitable in weaving the variety of evidence. Four primary case studies in Copenhagen and Los Angeles are centered around a widely recognized parking typology; its related legislation, the connection to other programs like commerce, housing, offices, leisure, and its role in the city-wide mobility system.
The concept of active form defined by Keller Easterling proved to be the most suitable for describing and classifying parking in this research project. An active form is an infrastructural operating system that consists of spatial products and repeatable formulas. It stands close to Aldo Rossi’s concept of an urban artifact that physically persists through the transformations of the city but gradually changes its function.
However, an urban artifact is validated by its materiality and physical presence, while active form does not require a visible form. Instead, it includes elements without distinguishable form such as rules, standards and protocols. An active form is repeatable but not identical just like the idea of a type that takes different shapes to satisfy needs and wishes in the best possible way.