Challenges of Parking within Mixed-Use Architecture

Mixed-use architecture is an interesting proposition. There are many different desires for a mixed-use building, and many different challenges to consider, including those of the potential residential and commercial owners, the tenants, as well as the considerations of those who might use the public areas of a mixed-use building. One part of the mixed-use architecture that makes a massive difference (especially in city centre locations where there is a limited provision for parking, is to ensure that there is enough parking to satisfy the different demands of a mixed-use building. Modern, urban architects understand these challenges, and the desire for parking spaces that satisfy the demands of all parties and that can be implemented within the mixed-use building design in a way that works both functionally and aesthetically.

The main issue that designers face when confronted with how to implement parking facilities in a mixed-use building is that it must be separated from the rest of the building and designed in such a way that it allows for effective and vigilant policing. You can see this most clearly in a building that has shops or restaurants on the ground floor with residential apartments on the floors above. What happens is that people visiting the building to have a meal in the restaurant or to go shopping for a few hours, obviously want to park as close to the premises as possible. If there is no separation between the parking for the commercial and entertainment facilities and those of the residents, you quickly get major problems.

If a resident leaves home in their car (whether it is to go to work or for any purpose) and they do not have a defined parking space that is linked to their home, it can be taken by a customer of the restaurants or shops on the ground floor of the mixed-use building. This can often be the case even if there is plenty of signage stating that a certain area of the car parking is reserved for residents only. This is where planning and architecture of mixed-use buildings come into play.

There are a few options here. One is to have completely separate parking provisions for residents and staff members, and for customers of any commercial areas of a building. Alternatively, or alongside this, there should be some form of security in place to manage (and govern) the parking provision. This could be a closed gate that can only opened by specific key fobs, barriers and security staff for a car park, or other security options.

Implementing car parking facilities within a mixed-use property, or at least close enough to a mixed-use property to be as effective as possible, it is important to have the expertise of urban architects that understand how to make the most of limited space. Mixed-use buildings can have a hugely positive effect on an urban landscape, especially in terms of helping to build sustainable communities and to actually help build genuine communities. Parking is such a huge part of modern life, that to implement it effectively helps to ensure credibility for the building that parking space is servicing.