Joel Beeby | Design
Joel Beeby

What I Was, Urban Parking Renewal

What I Was is a popup exhibit designed to engage residents in local history to encourage the redevelopment of parking lots into active urban space.


Research and animation highlighting the effects of parking lots on urban centers


Reclaiming Urban parking lots


American cities are strangled by parking. The story is all too familiar – in the mid-20th century, construction of massive freeways, unfair housing policies, and "urban renewal" all drove populations out of urban settings and into the suburbs. In place of once-bustling blocks came massive swaths of lifeless parking lots. Now, as cities reposition themselves to attract people back downtown, we are challenged by parking lots that leaving dead zones in active downtowns. What I Was uses history to engage visitors in an interactive representation of what parking lots used to be, to encourage development and energize cities.


The Impact of parking on cities

Animation created in After Effects


Case Study: Cincinnati, OH

Using Cincinnati as an example city, the process presentation goes through the research, benchmarking, and concept elements of the What I Was campaign.

Download the PDF presentation:

 Nighttime booth concept.

Nighttime booth concept.

 Website layout mockup

Website layout mockup