Earlier this month I wrote that food trucks offer a cheap, “pop up” solution for endless expanses of parking lots. I used Portland as my primary example, because food trucks there have managed to turn a number of parking lots into fantastic, human-scaled places.
But there are local examples right here in Utah as well. Case in point, this spot in Provo:
In this case, the food cart blocks off views of the parking lot and creates some sense of enclosure. It’s comfortable and vastly more inviting than a big parking lot otherwise would be. (I’m not sure why this place was closed the night I took these pictures but I’m guessing it was due to the BYU-Utah game.)
This spot also illustrates the advantages of not knocking down entire blocks of buildings and replacing them with parking lots. In other parts of Provo, as well as in Salt Lake City, it’s going to be nearly impossibly to ring massive city blocks with food carts or any other kind of pop up urbanism, at least in the near future.
If the parking lots are small and punctuated by buildings, however, it doesn’t take much to turn them into great spaces.