It's been estimated that two percent of the United States is covered in asphalt. To reverse this trend, more permeable materials can be used for surfacing projects. Parking lots can also become more multifunctional- adding amenities such as bike lockers, transit stops, and trail connections provide for more transportation choices.
Reducing the ratio of parking spots to cars can be another strategy. This ratio, largely tied to zoning regulations, is as high as 7 to 1 in some communities (7 parking spots for every car). Zoning can be changed to create parking maximums, instead of the usual parking minimums and also encourage shared parking between different entities.
Notice the reddish pavement (lower retained heat) and the dotted white parking slips (less paint, easier on the eyes).
Integrating parking and landscaping at an apartment complex
This parking lot is underground, with ball courts on top (very expensive).
There are several options for utilizing excess parking.
This parking lot in Port Townsend, Washington becomes a farmers' market on Saturday mornings.
the use of permeable surfaces for parking lots
Housing Without Car Parking
New York Times Article