They paved paradise . . . and put up housing

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Munich is building affordable housing atop parking lots

Like many other cities, Munich is faced with less and less space, but more and more people. It has to find a way to develop new housing in an urban area that has a finite – and dwindling – amount of space available. One proposal, reported by The Atlantic’s City Lab section, is to squeeze in a new type of housing complex (120 units in a wooden, not steel, frame construction) onto a parcel of land occupied by the parking lot for a swimming pool.

One new apartment building doesn’t represent a sea change in itself. Part of the city’s intention with this pilot project is to create a best practice for future parking lot construction schemes. With this successful project under its belt, Munich would have a model to help its negotiations with large parking lot owners, such as big-box grocers, who could profit by having new residents located right at their doorstep..

Fergus O'Sullivan

The article also discusses issues of land use that have given rise to citizens’ groups demanding more input and better government control. Munich is no different in this regard. Leerstand089 (Vacancy  089 – 089 is the Munich area code) maps empty or underused properties in the city, one of the factors contributing to the prohibitively high cost of housing in the city.

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