The Mobility Space Report: How much space do car parks take up in our cities?

Taking an algorithmic approach to analyzing "arrogance of space"

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How much space do car parks occupy in our cities? A quick Google search for the question returns 27 million results, and if you were to scroll through the first page, you get the impression that our cities have way too much parking spaces than necessary. But what does the view from the sky tell us? How much space do they actually occupy?

The Mobility Space Report 

Moovel Lab‘s latest project “What the Street?!” provides a fascinating insight into how urban space is allocated in different cities across the world including Berlin, New York City, Tokyo and Stuttgart (where they have their office) among others.

The concept of “arrogance of space” and how unequally (road) space is being divided in favor of cars isn’t new. What’s interesting is the algorithmic approach that Moovel Labs has taken to highlight the disparity between the different modes of transportation in our cities.

In “What the Street?!”, their team analyzed data from OpenStreetMap to identify streets, railway tracks, parking spaces, bike lanes and dedicated parking for bikes and Instead of creating a “boring” map highlighting the different areas of interest, Moovel’s team, took a rather interesting approach to visualizing all the data by packing parking lots tightly together and rolling up streets and tracks! The resulting visualizing is awesome and of course, you can click on a particular space and visualize its location on a map.

The Mobility Triangle 

Another cool aspect of the report is the mobility triangle that highlights the difference between the different modes of transport people use and how much space is allocated for each mode (Read: How to interpret the mobility triangle).

The Mobility Space Report is #geoawesome and highly recommend that you check it out. If you have some time to kill, try guessing where each of these parking spaces is located in the world!

Guessing the location of Parking lots

More Details and Source Code

If you are interested in learning more about the technical details of the project, check out their blog post. The team also made the source code of the project available under the MIT license, if you’d like to take a deeper look into their algorithms (Moovel’s GitHub).

Currently, What the Street?! is available for Amsterdam, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Budapest, Chicago, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York City, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Singapore, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Vienna. Considering that the source code of the project is freely available, you can use it to generate a report of your city.