I was recently looking at the Auraria Campus' plans to replace the surface parking lots surrounding the Tivoli Student Union with new buildings:
This is a great idea, as you can see the elimination of these surface lots allows for five
new classroom buildings to be constructed along with a courtyard area. It also makes you realize how much space is wasted with these sprawling surface lots, constructing new parking garages and underground parking to replace them could allow Auraria to effectively double in size.
The Auraria Campus is hardly the worst offender. Looking at satellite images makes you realize that a massive wasteland of surface parking lots stretches along much of the area directly west of Downtown Denver. Between Auraria's far-flung west parking lots, Elitch Garden's seasonally-used lots, and the Pepsi Center's event parking there is a surface area that rivals the Central Business District.
This sheer amount of wasted space has always bothered me and I have highlighted the enormous area on the map below. How much development could take place here if these lots were consolidated into a few large garages?
View Central Denver Parking Lot Wasteland in a larger map