This Atlantic interview with SimCity designer Stone Librande has stuck with me. While doing research for the game, Librande was faced with quantifying our land use decisions.
When I started measuring out our local grocery store, which I don’t think of as being that big, I was blown away by how much more space was parking lot rather than actual store.
For example, here in Vancouver the parking bylaw requires one 14m² parking space for every 20m² of supermarket floor space. Adding the necessary lanes to allow cars to get in and out, this law practically guarantees that grocery stores will be more parking lot than store.