What spatial qualities can be created from parking lots in cities?


Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR)

Project period

June 2023 — October 2025


Co-creative process design, moderation, workshops

Working method

Process support, dialog events


Process design for transformation

Our expertise

Spatial development, policy design


Gertz Gutsche Rümenapp (GGR), Mundialis GmbH, paper planes e.V.



Cycling road in inner city
Cycling road in inner city

Recognizing the potential of parking lots: Developing new spaces

We are working with GGR GbR, Mundialis GmbH and paper planes e.V. on behalf of the BBSR on the transformation of parking lots. On average, a car in Germany spends 23 hours and 15 minutes parked on asphalt. According to the recommendation of the Road and Transportation Research Association, this floor space should in future take up 14 square meters instead of 12.5 square meters. Elsewhere, such as in Paris, wide cars have to pay three times the parking fee. In Germany, car owners spend 41 hours a year looking for a parking space. Stationary traffic therefore takes up a large proportion of the space in urban, suburban and rural areas.

In view of the need for space for housing, workplaces and infrastructure facilities as well as for high-quality public open spaces and the challenge of unsealing areas in the course of climate adaptation, the question of how to deal with the high land consumption of stationary traffic is more pressing than ever.

The research project aims to develop a methodologically sound, spatially specific and transferable recording, classification and evaluation of large-scale parking areas. On the other hand, solutions are to be developed for different types of parking lots with regard to the diverse usage options.

We are supporting the project through co-creative workshops with local authorities. In Görlitz, Dortmund and Ulm, new uses are being developed for selected areas. These offer the opportunity to create multi-coded spaces. Specific examples of solutions that have already been implemented are illustrated, classified and evaluated in order to provide stakeholders from politics and urban development with well-founded support for possible implementations.

Project components

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