As Parking Needs Shrink, How Will That Impact The Future Of Housing Design?

Jennifer Castensen writes: As Parking Needs Shrink, How Will That Impact The Future Of Housing Design? for Forbes. It started out about parking and moves on to  urban aerial transport as a possible solution.

The future of transportation is envisioned here by Humphreys & Partners Architects proposal for an Uber Skyport.HUMPHREYS & PARTNERS ARCHITECTS, L.P.

Yet, there are dissenters who shoot holes in this idea becoming reality in the U.S. David Levinson, Transportist, literally thinks that people will be shooting holes in them, saying that Americans like to believe that they own the air above their house and might make sport of these unmanned vehicles traveling across their airspace.

Although the idea may be attractive, it just may not be practical yet. Buses carry many more people than aerial vehicles can, yet only transport about 5% of U.S. travelers, Levinson says. Plus, the flying vehicles would need more space than buses.

Perhaps a simplified version of the impact of lower car ownership is from the KB Home ProjeKt, themed Where Tomorrow Lives, that offers a community concept of several homes that share access to one garage and an electric vehicle. That would mean that not every home would need the square footage associated with a garage, saving land space in a way that is economically beneficial and more environmentally friendly.

At the same time that we are experiencing a transportation culture shift, Levinson says the reality is that there will be a work revolution, where the new entire tech world is remote.

“I’m thinking there will be a real estate crash,” Levinson says. “The population grows less than 1% per year. We are overbuilt for a world where people work remotely.”

If that’s the case, there will be very limited demand for downtown parking space.

The interview questions referred to the Uber Elevate conference, and some presentations by architects. The questions asked in are in blockquote, answered somewhat snarkily below:

1.  Uber forecasts that these will be in operation in 2023, do you think that will happen?

No (except as an experimental proof of concept, even then, how many people has Uber actually carried in a flying car? And they are projecting service in a few years. Ha.).

2.  Will commutes be redefined making housing accessible in new areas?

No (why would we have flying cars but still commute to work? Is this the Jetson’s Universe?)

3.  How frequent will these stations need to be a tipping point for broad usage?

As frequent as bus stops, but this will never happen. Bus carries fewer than 5% of US travelers. Drones need more space and carry fewer people.

 4.  How will they impact existing infrastructure?

They won’t , see #1 and #2

5.  How close would these get to homes, housing?


How many Americans have guns? Shooting these out of the sky will be sport. People believe they own the air about their house, at least up to the point where airplanes travel.

6.  What would safety factors and regulations have to address?

People don’t like heavy metal objects falling out of the sky.

7.  How will people psychologically get ready for this? I don’t think a lot of people I know would jump into a flying vehicle without a pilot!

They won’t. The autopilot is the least troubling of these, planes take off and land all the time without active pilots. Flying cars in rural areas might make sense in a few decades after surface vehicle automation is mastered.