Making Space for the Car at Home : Planning, priorities and practices

Spurling, Nicola Jane (2018) Making Space for the Car at Home : Planning, priorities and practices. In: Infrastructures in Practice : The Dynamics of Demand in Networked Societies. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138476042

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In 2014 there were 28 million private cars in Great Britain. Given that the current standard for residential parking bays is 2.4m*4.8m (HM Government, 2010), and making the modest estimate that every car has just one space, at its owner’s home, that’s 336 million meters square. Nearly all of the Isle of Wight, or placed in a straight line, a third of the distance to the moon. Residential parking space is a big topic, yet just 60 years ago it was not part of neighbourhood plans at all. This Chapter traces how residential parking became a normal, legitimate and planned for aspect of everyday life, drawing on archive research about Stevenage New Town between 1946 and 1970. The Chapter analyses the relationship between the practices of planners – in particular their understanding of future parking space demand - and the changing demands of tenants for parking space near to the home. Through this analysis, the argument is made that parking space is not simply a necessary outcome of automobility, rather it plays a critical part in anticipating and embedding automobility too. The implications of the analysis for present and future practices of planning are discussed.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Infrastructures in Practice on 21/09/2018, available online:
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13 Mar 2019 11:30
Last Modified:
01 Feb 2024 00:52