Here's another reason for less pavement and parking lots: Thousands of dead and injured birds.
As you may have noticed, big stores have big parking lots, that channel rainwater and pollutants into local rivers and streams. Those same parking lots also are barely ever filled to capacity, except maybe during the holidays. In Utah, storm clouds and water that gathered in parking lots caused the death of thousands of birds, called eared grebes, on their migration path.
About 1,500 birds died after hitting the parking lot of a Walmart store and other open areas of Cedar City, Utah, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. They apparently landed to rest on the pond, but instead slammed into the pavement. A little better news: About 3,500 birds were rescued by various residents and Utah wildlife officials, then re-released into the wild.
Maybe these parking lots should have been better designed, to drain properly? And perhaps they didn't even need to be built, with the out-of-whack standards in some cities for how many spaces are needed outside stores.
Better yet, how about permeable pavement, that allows water to drain down and filter out pollutants, instead of run off and pollute the environment? And in this case, kill birds.
Google Map view of Cedar City, Utah, Walmart.
Some may question whether parking lots had anything to do with these crash landings. But isn't it still a good excuse for less pavement?