Making parking spaces work for everyone, not just drivers
Matthew Pencharz, Head of Policy for UK, Ireland & the Netherlands at Voi Technology, considers the precedence that has been set across the globe for car parking spaces, and discusses how challenging this status quo in favour of micro-mobility and public transport can deliver a range of social and environmental benefits.
While fuel and how to get it has dominated UK conversation in recent weeks, Europe has a bigger and longer-term car problem. Or, rather, it has a car parking problem – because we devote too much space to cars.
In every city across the continent, hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of land has been flattened and covered in concrete to park underutilised hunks of metal – and we’ve just accepted it. We’ve accepted that, for a single building, three times the amount of space is given over to car parking. We’ve accepted that swathes of land outside of offices are full during the day but wastelands at night.
We’ve accepted that many cities have housing crises brought on by a lack of available land, costing our societies €195 billion per year1. We’ve accepted that, when you live in a city, you sacrifice green spaces and parks, with parking space robbing our children of places outside to play. We’ve even accepted that city residents are being harmed by the current high levels of air pollution, with our children the most affected.