Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou
The provision, availability, use and cost of car parking spaces are arguably among the most contentious and controversial issues affecting towns and cities in the developed world. The ostensibly simple act of temporarily parking a private or commercial road vehicle in a public or private space invariably invokes complex considerations and compromises relating to urban land use, planning, governance, (in)accessibility, cost (whether financial, personal and/or environmental), and social privilege and often brings the rational, yet selfish, motivations of individual car drivers and passengers into conflict both with other motorists and with other users of urban space. Although every site which is allocated to the temporary parking of vehicles differs in terms of its location, design, age, construction, ownership, governance, user characteristics and temporal patterns of patronage, every single space exerts a considerable social, economic and environmental cost/benefit. Parking directly and indirectly affects every user of urban space, whether they are a driver, a passenger, another road user, a pedestrian, a resident, a regular commuter, a business owner or a visitor/tourist.
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