Sous les paves, la plage: urban forests for the parking lots in Ostiense
Parking lots are flexible and multifunctional spaces that can positively contribute to relieve the city of the increasing presence of cars. The disappearance or the reduction of the traditional monofunctional parking lots constitutes a way to create new relations between the city and its variety of complex environments and to improve social realm. Born with the standardization of the car in the early 20th century, they are valued largely for their technical character neglecting its landscape potential, and usually they are mere asphalt surfaces to storage cars, with no design intention or economic investment. But their importance within an ecological and sustainable framework is major. The proper use of its materials can help reduce impervious surfaces, fight heat islands, and contribute to the control of water runoff and effective groundwater recharge; a correct use of vegetation can improve natural habitats and biodiversity. We will focus into the case study of the area Ostiense-Valco San Paolo in Rome. Located in the southwest of the city, Ostiense was the industrial neighborhood of Rome, mixing industry with high-density residential constructions. The presence of the Tevere and its dense planted banks dramatically contrast with the large parking surfaces, asphalt deserts with no trees or green inclusions. The aim of this paper is to propose the transformation of parking lots into urban forests, calculating the number of trees for each car needed to compensate the daily pollution they create. At the very same time, these vegetated spots could be connected and with the Tevere creating a larger network, changing completely the image of the area and participating in the public realm and the intermediate scale of landscape.
Soto Aguirre, A. and Rabazo, M. (2018). Sous les paves, la plage: urban forests for the parking lots in Ostiense. Acta Hortic. 1215, 33-38
urban forests, lost space, urban landscape, public realm, biodiversity