Here’s a fairly random street in Sydney, Australia that looks like it’s a big box retail area with some office parks thrown in. You know, like the kind of thing you find in Auckland in places such as Albany, Wairau Park, Highbrook, Lincoln Road and of course Manukau.
The stand out and absolutely smack you in the face difference is in relation to surface parking. The area around Mascot in Sydney – where the first couple of images are from, have almost absolutely no surface parking – instead using that land for far more productive purposes in terms of extra floor space. That area is densely developed without a doubt! Compared to Manukau, which is around 70% asphalt (clearly not enough for some!)
I’m kind of curious why there’s such a big difference between the two places. Some possible explanations:
- Mascot never had minimum parking requirements or perhaps even had maximum parking limits.
- Mascot had some other planning rule stopping surface level parking.
- The land values in Mascot are so high that land simply can’t be “wasted” on parking (this also relies on there being no minimums)
- Mascot has always been blessed with good public transport whereas PT was generally viewed as a communist plot for smelly people by the former Manukau City Council
This is all speculation of course, but it clearly highlights that light-industrial, office-park, big-box retail areas don’t have to end up being smothered to death in parking lots.