This photograph from my trip to Guangzhou last year just popped up on my screensaver and I couldn't resist blogging it quickly.
Almost ANY space that we now devote to parking could be used for something else (either full-time or part-time as may be the case in this photo).
This shot was taken at the edge of one of Guangzhou's 'urban villages'. This one near the Guangzhou BRT line is built up at incredibly high densities with 5 to 10 storey buildings (like those on the left) packed tightly together in a maze of narrow alleyways. I think mainly migrant workers from the countryside live here.
Car ownership is very low so here we see people putting the planned parking area to better uses. I assume both the pool games and the childrens' bouncy game involve some kind of payment per use. I suspect that the parking here doesn't.
It makes you think. Can we organize parking policy so that we only devote space to parking when it really is the most valuable use? How can we make parking compete with the other possible uses of the space?