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On Parking

Looking at Berlin in the 70ies, you can also see how much cities change with more cars – the images here look unreal to anyone used to todays cities.

Kreuzberg in the 70ies on Flickr

There is an older article in The Economist about Parking in Cities, and Zoning rules that require building parking spaces when building new housing.

The impact that parking, unused cars, have on the design of public space is quite astonishing. The article illustrates that using the new Apple HQ in Cupertino as an example – a building with 318k sqm of office and 325k sqm of parking space, as required by local zoning rules.

The situation is complicated, even in cities such as Amsterdam, which do have functioning public transport and are attractive to Biking – people still own cars, and want to park them where they live. Permits are still too cheaply priced, for political reasons, and that is changing only slowly (check out neighboring Haarlem for a slightly more aggressive approach to keep cars out of the historic centre).

But things are slowly improving, closes the article. More and more cities are realising what they are doing to their urban environment by keeping cars inside, and are modifying regulations.

Published inPost Car Society


  1. Andre

    I loved what they have done in Tokyo.. If you want to buy a car there, you have to hand in proof that you also have a place to park it(and many, many garages there are actually storage rooms or workshops.. The odd handyman’s van in one of those garages is almost exceptional)..
    There still is quite a lot of traffic, but compared to the population it probably isn’t that much.. They also have about three levels of streets.. The most obvious is about as big as in any European city with one, two or more lanes in each direction.. Then there are streets that are more or less one rather big European lane in total(but enough for two Japanese cars).. And after that there are streets just big enough for one small car, just enough to drive up to your house and park it.. It gives well enough room for anyone from motorists to cyclists to pedestrians… Only cycling on the bigger multi lane streets seems something of a grey area, but it doesn’t happen very often and most cyclists choose to ride along the pedestrians until they can enter a smaller street…

    But then, the Japanese are very considerate of their fellow people and ride accordingly most of the time..

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