I stumbled across this car parking stand-off in Calton. The cars are parked behind an apartment block. The laminated note attached to the toy car reads:
"DO NOT REMOVE. This is the property of unit one. We pay rent for this carpark and thus shall utilize it for whatever vehicle we see fit".Classic.
Mind you, when it comes to sustainability I guess the space occupied by car parking is often hotly contested. The battle lines are drawn a little like this:
car parking spaces
Sometimes we have to choose between a street tree or a car parking space. Of course trees provide obvious environmental benefits; they reduce green house gases, filter pollution in the air, and reduce the amount of heating in summer. A car parking space on the other hand is probably never going to contribute much to sustainable suburbs - although whether providing a car park is actively 'bad' depends on how many of them are available. If you provide 'enough' car parking spaces, then by definition you're facilitating the use of the private cars; the easier it is to get a park, the more likely you are to drive and the less likely you are to use public transport. But by strictly limiting the amount of parking available then you can begin to tip the balance the other way.
At other times we have to choose between having a row of parking or a dedicated bike lane. You can guess which one of those two options wins out in the green stakes.
Christopher Alexander suggests that no more than 9% of any neighbourhood or development should be given over to parking. He recommends this partly to reduce the amount of traffic (and encourage pedestrian life and public transport use), but also because higher concentrations of parking (on ground level) tend to have a negative affect on the urban fabric. Walking through big expanses of parking is nowhere near as pleasant an urban experience as walking past a row of shops, or along a leafy footpath. And it's no coincidence that on TV the bad guy is always shown kidnapping innocents in the car park as they're walking to their car...big car parks feel exposed, dangerous, and alienating.