If we want more density and less sprawl, where will the land come from?

Re-zoning exclusively single-family home space is a rising idea, and feasible, given the example posted earlier on PT from Houston.

parkingBut there’s an invisible 30% of city land that needs re-thinking. Given the growth in alternatives, do we still need so much land devoted to the most space-inefficient form of transportation?

Christopher Pollen writes in The Tyee “Imagining City Life After the Car“.

Across North America today, precious urban housing space is languishing right under our noses — or more precisely, under our wheels.

In the City of Vancouver alone, it’s estimated that over 30 per cent of all land — worth an estimated $48 billion — is tied up by our roads, parking lots and alleys. This vast urban “greyfield” constitutes the largest tract of un-built space in many cities, raising exciting questions about how it could be used to make urban density liveable, family friendly, and maybe even more affordable. . . .

. . . . We seldom think about it, but our roads and alleyways occupy enormous tracts of valuable land. Consider: the City of Vancouver has more than 1,400 linear kilometres of roadway, including over 1,000 kilometres of local roads and 650 kilometres of driveable lanes and alleys; a typical street in Vancouver is 66 feet wide, while larger arterials are 80 feet.

And really, it’s not such a new idea, as this PT post from 2013 shows.