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Building for mass car ownership

Date: 20/02/2014

Government policy on how future new housing estates should be designed could be shaped by new research on parking.

The fraught issue of parking in new residential areas due to the advent of mass car ownership has led to the University of Sheffield's School of Architecture providing solutions with its Space to Park study, which was unveiled at a Parliamentary Launch this week.

Professor Flora Samuel, who attended the launch, said: We really need to improve resident satisfaction on new housing estates so the research is extremely important and we were delighted that Housing Minister Kris Hopkins gave the study ringing endorsement.

This project shows how architecture research skills can unravel knotty spatial problems at the heart of British life. Architecture is not just about building Shards.

The Space to Park project analysed 402 developments built since 2000 and discovered that suburban housing estates actually have surplus parking spaces but the inflexible way parking is allocated creates problems with spaces unused by some households while neighbours park on pavements and verges, creating tension.

Victorian streets with high levels of car ownership work better than most modern estates however housebuilders would struggle to sell a house without allocated parking, explained Professor Samuel.

The study recommends houses are built with allocated spaces linked to the expected number of adults in the house and new estates are designed with wider streets to provide unallocated bays through on-street parking.

The Minister's endorsement provides important support to house builders and others who are trying to promote better parking strategies. The research will be further promoted by the Homes and Communities Agency.

The Space to Park research can be viewed in more detail via http://spacetopark.org/

The research is a collaboration between URBED and Edinburgh University as part of Sheffield University's Home Improvements Knowledge Exchange and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

For further information please contact:

Alex Pryce (AHRC), 01793 416025, a.pryce@ahrc.ac.uk

Clare Parkin (University of Sheffield), 0114 222 1046,clare.parkin@sheffield.ac.uk

Notes for Editors

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year (2013-14) the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.

The University of Sheffield. With nearly 25,000 of the brightest students from 117 countries coming to learn alongside 1,209 of the world's best academics, it is clear why the University of Sheffield is one of the UK's leading universities. Staff and students at Sheffield are committed to helping discover and understand the causes of things - and propose solutions that have the power to transform the world we live in.



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