Exploring physical feasibility and land-use value: Parking facilities at Dalhousie, Studley campus
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Land-use in urban environments is an integral component of the functioning and efficiency of a city. It is desirable to design an urban landscape to utilize all of the available space. Dalhousie University in the city of Halifax, N.S has a lot of available space, all of which is found in parking lots. There have been measures taken to increase the sustainability of building infrastructure and transportation methods on Studley campus, however the sustainability of parking lots has been overlooked and underestimated. The objective of this project was to identify sustainable alternatives and their physical feasibility for each parking -lot on Studley campus. The overall goal was to maintain the same number of parking spaces on campus, as that is an invaluable asset to stakeholders at Dalhousie, and to integrate sustainable infrastructure and biodiversity. From the literature review, consultation with experts, GIS mapping and site visits we were able to create criterion to assess the physical feasibility of integrating solar panels, permeable pavement and biodiversity into parking lots. The results of our findings were that all of the parking lots that were evaluated were physically feasible for at least one type of green infrastructure. By redesigning parking lots, Dalhousie University can adhere to the sustainability initiatives plan that was created in 2010. Integration of green infrastructure and biodiversity into parking lots on campus will help Dalhousie University reach several targets that were focused on reducing greenhouse gases, increasing renewable resources and enhancing the natural environment. Our recommendation would be for Dalhousie University to conduct further research on the economic feasibility of a project such as this and to determine if the undertaking would be worth the cost in the long-term.