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The parking lot is a leading villain in the urbanist’s rogue gallery, a poor example of land use that especially rankles the planning set when it appears as a mandatory component of downtown developments. But parking lots aren’t all bad. The architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron did a great deal to redeem the lowly swath of asphalt, developing a retail- and nightlife-friendly parking garage that is now one of Miami’s hottest new structures. The design-and-planning question isn’t just about what parking should cost; it’s about what lots can be, but it may take some time for that question to catch on. At Artisphere, “Beyond the Parking Lot,” an exhibit curated by Cynthia Connolly, may register a more familiar refrain. The artists assembled are nailing down the point that our society, built as it was around the automobile, is beginning to show wear, at least in terms of its infrastructure and environment. Dyed-in-the-wool urbanists may already know the answer to this show’s question—are parking lots bad?—but even they might appreciate a demonstration that looks beyond charts and graphs.
“Beyond the Parking Lot: The Change and Reassessment of Our Modern Landscape” is on view 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays, noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. artisphere.com. (703) 875-1100.