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Eight ways to transform parking and make London a better place

Alice Roberts
By Alice Roberts
24th November 2020

Car parking can be a shocking waste of space. Our publication Parking Transformed shows eight ways your borough can redeploy space allocated to car parking to make London a better place.


Our November 2020 publication Parking Transformed shows there’s no need for every street in London to be a car park. Much better use can be made of space currently given to car parking and we detail eight ways parking can be transformed to make London a better place.

Redeploying parking space is also one of the key ways your borough can reduce congestion, pollution and road danger, and encourage more walking and cycling.


Why so much grey space? 

In some parts of London as few as 30% of households have a car yet all the streets are car parks. Cars parked on-street take up over 1,400 hectares of space, equivalent to 10 Hyde Parks in size.

One way we can make better use of this space is to turn streets into parks. London has just half the green space it needs for a population its size and the situation is much worse in some inner London boroughs. We believe it’s time to turn our grey space green. Boroughs can identify areas with low car ownership at Datashine. Often these areas with lots of people living in flats without gardens. These can be matched up with parts of the borough which lack easy or close access to parks or green spaces. Those should be the locations for a minimum of 30 new parks in each London borough.

Parking can also be transformed into cycle lanes and wider pavements. It can be replaced to make space for greenery and trees (rather than placing street trees on the pavement where they can impede pedestrians), for ‘parklets’ which provide seating for cafes, or for much-needed secure bicycle storage. Historic town centres can be restored to attractive, pedestrianised areas by removing parking, much improving the setting of historic buildings. And vast surface car parks at retail parks can even make way for much needed new housing.

Please write to your local council asking them to take action to make better use of space currently given to car parking.


Centre for London report.
Alice Roberts’ related blog Let’s turn grey space green – is published alongside the Parking Transformed report.