• Outdoors Outdoors

Jaw-dropping before-and-after photos show a shocking parking lot transformation: ‘The heart of a vibrant city’

Other cities have had similar success.

Other cities have had similar success.

Photo Credit: u/krajzegarider / Reddit

A parking lot in Poland was transformed from a dirty lot filled with cars that could be parked elsewhere into a thriving community space where families can swim, get a tan, and enjoy the fresh air. 

The transformation took place on Mill Island in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and was highlighted on the Reddit thread r/f***cars

The side-by-side photos show the space originally being filled with cars, the ground covered in dirt, and there appears to be litter or scrap metal strewn around. The recent photo, however, shows a vibrant community space. The cars and dirt have been replaced with grass, trees, and a swimming area. 

“Mill Island, Bydgoszcz Poland 2003 vs Present,” the caption reads. 

 Other cities have had similar success.
Photo Credit: u/krajzegarider / Reddit

Mill Island is described as “a green enclave in the heart of a vibrant city, home to 360,000 inhabitants,” and transformations like this are part of the reason why. Other cities, like Dusseldorf, Germany, have had similar success. 

Becoming “pedestrian-centric” as opposed to “car-centric” like this makes for a more enjoyable city experience, allowing community members to navigate easily on foot and, as a result, come together in areas like this to spend time with family and friends. 

To make that happen, cities need reliable public transit — creating less need for a car. This is a feat that some commenters say Mill Island has figured out. “[Mill Island] has GREAT public transport that gets you wherever you need to go,” said one user. 

Admittedly, some comments suggest the opposite, but opinions on public transit typically vary. Regardless, having reliable public transit is vital to creating pedestrian-centric areas like this — if you’re going to use up the parking space, residents need another way to get around. 

Not only are pedestrian-centric cities more enjoyable for the residents, but they’re better for the environment. A personal, gas-powered car can produce over 10,000 pounds of carbon pollution per year, while public transit produces significantly less. This could be subject to change with the number of electric vehicles growing, but pedestrian-centric cities will typically be more accessible and enjoyable for their citizens.   

The residents seem happy with the green space, with one user saying, “I live here, really great public place to relax,” and another commented on how often it’s used, “The grass isn’t that great but with so many people walking on it, it’s not a surprise.” 

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider