Join YIMBY Denver and the Colorado Planners Network chapter for a discussion with Henry Grabar about his new book, parking minimums, how parking makes housing unaffordable, and more! It’s a great way to celebrate National Week Without Driving - the planning school is easily accessible via public transit Transit App or RTD Trip Planner.
About the book: Henry Grabar, in Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World shows that parking, quite literally, has a death grip on America: each year a handful of Americans are tragically killed by their fellow citizens over parking spots. But even when we don’t resort to violence, we routinely do ridiculous things for parking, contorting our professional, social, and financial lives to get a spot. Indeed, in the century since the advent of the car, we have deformed—and in some cases demolished—our homes and our cities in a Sisyphean quest for cheap and convenient car storage. As a result, much of the nation’s most valuable real estate is now devoted exclusively to empty and idle vehicles, even as so many Americans struggle to find affordable housing. Parking determines the design of new buildings and the fate of old ones, patterns of traffic and the viability of transit, neighborhood politics and municipal finance, the quality of public space, and even the course of floodwaters. Can this really be the best use of our finite resources and space? Why have we done this to the places we love? Is parking really more important than anything else?
Henry Grabar, currently a 2024 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, has been staff writer at Slate where he writes the Metropolis column, with a focus on housing, transportation, and the environment. His work has been published in Architect, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, and he has produced podcasts for Decoder Ring, 99 Percent Invisible, What Next, and other shows.
He has discussed these subjects on television and radio, and before audiences at New America, the National Press Foundation, and various conferences and classrooms. He has taught journalism to students from the University of Southern California, Sarah Lawrence, and other institutions. His story about immigrants in the meatpacking town of Fremont, Nebraska was a finalist for the 2018 Livingston Award for excellence in national reporting by a journalist under 35.