Monday, August 24, 2020

How Much of Your Town is Parking Lot?

A few years ago the housing charity Shelter claimed that just as much land was covered by golf courses in the UK as was used by housing. The claim wasn't meant as an attack on golfing but was made to illustrate the point that there was easily enough land for more housing to be built in the UK.

But was Shelter correct? Do golf courses use as much land as housing in the UK?

The Golfulator might have the answer. Draw around an area of Great Britain or Ireland on the Golfulator interactive map and it will tell you how much land in that area is used for golf and how much is used for housing.

My relative limited use of the map suggests that golf in the UK does not use as much land as housing. Even in St Andrews, 'the home of golf', there is a fairly even split between golf and housing. With so many local golf course St Andrews has to have one of the highest golf to housing ratios in the UK. Therefore in most areas of the UK housing is going to take up a higher percentage of land than golf. However the ratio will obviously depend on where you draw the map.

The Golfulator map uses data from OpenStreetMap on the location and areas of UK housing and golf courses. The Golfulator is on GitHhub. If you want you could therefore adapt the map for your own purposes - for example to find out how much land in Los Angeles is devoted to parking lots.

Although you don't have to do that. Because it has already been done. If you want to know how much of LA is dedicated to parking then you can use the Parkulator. Draw around your town on the Parkulator interactive map and you can find out what percentage of your town is defined as dedicated to car parking on OpenStreetMap.

Central Los Angeles is around 4% parking. That is enough space for nearly 19,000 more homes.

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