I know I’m stating the obvious when I say this: parking a vehicle downtown, in Ottawa or any city, can be a challenge if not entirely frustrating. But the parking policies of a city go a long way in determining how a city is experienced at street level. For instance, the city of Prince George, BC has nearly 50% of its entire downtown area covered in parking lots. The downtown of many Canadian cities used to be quite similar but over the last 30 years office towers, condos and retail spaces have slowly been built over those paved wastelands.
San Francisco is taking a unique approach to its parking woes: a new system called SFPark. It allows drivers to look up available parking spots before they leave their home or office, while at the same time adjusting prices to fit the demand of spaces.