Lots of Lots

Ok, so we’ve today we’ve heard the grim news about the number of dealerships that Chrysler and GM will be shuttering. Aside from all jobs lost and commerce stunted with these closings, you’re about to end up with yet another case of impressive urban blight on your hands. Even if some of them don’t close, according to the NYTimes…

The dealerships losing their franchises will not necessarily close… 658 of them sell more used cars than new ones and therefore might be in a position to stay open as a used-car lot.

Ah, the used car lot – every urban planner’s favorite. These dealerships are usually acre upon acre of parking lot, with a giant central show room in the middle. In spots like the motor mile here in Austin, the condemned will be eaten by their neighbors, but what about the standalones? Could you make them in to tent-city style homeless shelters, schools, or perhaps the worlds most awesome paintball/lasertag course? Pocket Solar Stations? Inner city Farms? Giant parking lots/charging points for the hypothetical fleets of electric cars that will be here soon (for G.M. there’s some poetic justice there)?

Anybody else? Is there a decent way to make this into a bright point as opposed to just another concrete wasteland, another used car lot or some other unnecessary strip mall.

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