Each parking spaces is estimated to cost at least $40,000. That cost is paid by us as ratepayers or as home owners with our garages or car spots. Each car requires many car-parking spaces, i.e. at home, at work, at schools, at the shopping centres , at the beach, etc, etc.
No one knows how many off-street parking spaces there are in the world; there are no estimates in Australia but in the United States alone estimates run from 105 million to 2 billion.
A lot of that real estate is sitting vacant most of the time, and causing all sorts of problems. When clustered in surface parking lots, parking spaces create heat islands and sources of polluted stormwater runoff.
They hollow out cities and divide neighbourhoods and towns (just look at Mona Vale as an example). They are significant generators of emissions, accounting for as much as 12 percent of energy consumption and greenhouse gases, and as much at least 24 percent of other emissions.
Arguably, they also create traffic by encouraging driving, making life less convenient rather than more for people who have no choice other than driving. This includes children and teenagers under driving age. Here in Pittwater we have many streets which you just don’t feel safe walking down – they only way to get down these streets is to drive. That is just not right.
“People today don’t want more parking they want more walkable spaces.”
It took a century to engineer cities in such a way that space for cars, even ones that are sitting idle, became valued more than space for people. This little film poses a question:
Are we willing to do the sums and start heading in another direction?