Car parks or playgrounds?          

Car parks or playgrounds?

The number of cars on the roads is growing each year, creating problems in city centres where housing was constructed without taking the need for parking spaces into consideration. Public car parks tend to be located at some distance from residential areas, and the charges are high. Many residents try to park as close to home as possible and to avoid paying high parking fees. As a result, residential districts are filled with cars that are parked in children’s play areas, on green verges, and even on pavements.

Discuss the conflicts and the possible solutions, as well as the opinions of the various parties. Present your own point of view. How do you think the problem can be solved?


Conflicting interests
  • Some residents are angry about not being able to park their cars close to home.
  • Other residents are upset that green spaces are being ruined and play and recreation areas taken over by parked cars.
  • Environmentalists are concerned about the impacts of traffic congestion on the area and on residents’ health.

Possible solutions
  • A barrier should be installed to limit access to the residential zone.
  • Cars parked illegally (in a green zone, in a play area or on the pavement) should be towed away.
  • A paid car park should be constructed for residents.
  • Fences should be installed around all green zones and playgrounds.
  • Drivers who park in inappropriate places should be fined.

Varying viewpoints

Local authorities
The local administration and the municipal housing and communal services departments are unable to find sufficient funding for additional parking places. Their proposal is to allow parking in green zones, if the tenants agree to accept it.

Residents who do not own cars would prefer to limit the number of vehicles entering the residential area in order to ensure sufficient open spaces for recreation and a safe environment for children to play in.

Environmentalists argue that preserving green spaces is an important way to protect human health and the quality of the environment.

Car owners
According to car owners, they have every right to leave their car right in front of their block of flats. They do not see why they should pay for parking. Their solution would be to create additional parking spaces at the expense of green zones and children’s playgrounds.