Why don’t you go over and ask that 2004 BMW 325i Sport for a cup of sugar? (Photo by Zeroth, Phillips, Schulman, and Lubomir.)

Trendwatchers say the people of New York are heading away from their dependency on cars. We’re not entirely sure about that — the last time we were there we almost got run over like seven times, and those cars weren’t driving themselves. But that’s what they say, and if this is in fact true, there will be less need for the approximately 100,000 off-street parking spaces in Manhattan — which could instead be used to house the huddled masses flocking in from rural areas to urban in pursuit of the meager remaining available resources. And that’s why designers Lawrence Zeroth, Jack Phillips, Brian Schulman, and Eugene Lubomir made a plan to start turning car lifts into housing pods.

The project is called upLIFT (isn’t that clever?) and its designs for the housing pods, which, all sarcasm aside, look very nice, were presented at a recent home competition. The contest called for affordable housing for the elderly, the homeless, or people who require assisted living. Usually we’d be pretty shocked if someone was all “just put them in the parking lot!” but in this case it works.

The recycled-plastic panels that make up the homes would be delivered to the parking garage and hoisted into place using the car lift. The lots would not necessarily be totally filled in with pods; some of the spaces could still have cars. Wow. So you could wake up and look out your window and see — a car? Not exactly sweeping views of the Hudson, but it beats rummaging around in the garbage for food, which, in the absence of new cheap housing solutions, is what we’re all going to be doing for most of the day.

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