Even the way we organize car parking can have a social effect. Transportation planner and Brookings Institution fellow Lawrence Frank found that people in cities are actually less likely to know their neighbors if the shops in their area have parking lots in front of them. The dynamic at play is obvious: those parking lots shift the balance of shoppers from local people toward people just passing through. You can’t blame a business for wanting to extend its reach. But when an entire city is designed around easy parking, then everyone shops farther from home, and the chance of bumping into people you might actually see again dwindles.
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design