In my opinion, the future of building is building up. The use of multifunctional buildings to conserve space is a necessary component of smart urban planning for the future. While many large East Coast cities within the U.S, as well as many cities internationally have adopted this practice, there is definite improvement to be had within the Midwest. Urban planners within the city of Lincoln have stepped into this “building up” mindset and are starting to implement this infrastructure within the downtown area of Lincoln by developing mixed-use parking and housing facilities.
The appearance of this design aesthetic first emerged with the construction of a mixed-use parking, restaurant, business and housing complex on the outer edge of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) campus, just a walk away to popular entertainment downtown. This complex, called the Parson Building, features modern design providing a modern living space inspired by Scandinavian design. It’s become a complex ideal for college students within surrounding areas. Little do most realize though, this was a beginning of a new ideology within the city of Lincoln, and one of the first steps of adopting modern and forward-thinking design.
Since the development of the Parson Building, the ideology has spread and even the University of Nebraska, Lincoln has approved a mixed-use parking and housing facility of their own. The parking structure will accommodate 1,654 vehicles, as well as a 475-bed housing development. "The WRAP" housing facility will include apartments designed primarily for UNL students, providing another housing option to students within the area. Along with adopting a smarter infrastructure, the complex will include some environmental quirks such as an environmentally friendly roof garden and high performance lighting to minimize energy. With more students living near walking distance to campus, commutes can be reduced, a secondary environmental perk. The apartments will include every amenity that a college student would expect and more, such as secured access, full kitchens, group study rooms, hot tubs, bicycle storage and a fitness center. This vast list of amenities truly highlights how one can get everything and more while still embodying smart architectural design. The facility is set to open in August 2014.
As the Midwest is developing the “building up” mentality, how do you see your city embracing this practice?
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