Parking might not be a sexy topic, but it's an important one. Every tool has its use, and while in some places, taking a car might be the right tool for the job, in other places, it simply isn't. Dense urban areas have tried to cram in tons of parking spaces over decades in the hope that they could make cities better places to live in, but all they've accomplished is the opposite. We're now overdue for a change in thinking; in fact, many cities have been managing parking differently with great success, and by learning from them, we could all benefit with more pleasant, healthier and cleaner cities.
The short animation video below, created by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and our friends at Streetfilms, explains why this issue is so crucial:
I've always loved how powerful the image below is. I think it perfectly makes the point:
If you live in a small town or rural area and don't have access to transit and biking isn't an option, a car can do a fine job of getting you to work, to the store, and bring you to see your loved ones. We encourage you to get the cleanest model you can afford (plug-ins are the best choice). But in a dense city, there are much better options, and the city should be designed around them, not around the car.