Manchester needs fewer parks*

*Car parks that is.

Let’s look at two images of central Manchester from above, according to Google Earth, this view of the city is roughly 3 square miles…

Now, let’s look at the same image, only this time we’ll highlight all the visible space dedicated solely to parked cars.

Empty. Stationary. Cars.

Space dedicated to stationary cars in the centre of Manchester (not inclusive of all on-street parking or underground car parks)

A pretty staggering use of space when you think about it. This is land that currently has no other purpose than to support a couple of tons of motionless metal.

Worse still, the spaces highlighted are simply what’s visible from zooming in to the first image, it doesn’t take into account all the private parking blocks, underground parking, or all of the street parking bays available throughout the city.

UPDATE: here’s a view of all the on-street parking offered by Manchester City Council within a 2 mile radius of the centre:

Street parking as found via the Council’s website: https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/site/scripts/directory_search.php?directoryID=105&keywords=&postcode=M1+1RG

This is quite simply: wasted space. A product of bad planning and design, a city focused on cars instead of people. This isn’t space being used to get people from A to B, it’s glorified personal storage space.

This is land that could be used for actual parks! Dedicated pockets of nature filled with trees and plants providing much needed clean air to the city. Space to breathe, to move around and be active in, or even just a place to sit and enjoy life, to watch the world go by.

We’re in the midst of a climate emergency AND the planet is suffering from massive biodiversity loss, isn’t it time we stopped dedicating so much of our land to cars? Even if all the cars parked were electric, the sheer amount of space dedicated to holding these empty boxes just doesn’t make sense any more, especially in the centre of a city.

To be continued.