Suburban Bliss

Rotterdam, Hoogvliet

Parking morphology catalogue

Ever-growing parking requirements place huge pressure on the public space in post-war neighbourhoods and the ideology with which these neighbourhoods were designed has also come under pressure. Although the supremacy of the car in the street scene is a source of great annoyance, no one is prepared to surrender a parking space situated 'as close to the home as possible'. The Dutch are extremely attached to the proximity of their holy cow that forms an essential part of the modern trinity, along with the home and a shed in the back garden. A trinity that represents suburban bliss. At the same time many Dutch people dream of a leafy residential street with restricted traffic access. In other words: we all want our own car right on the doorstep, be we don't want to look at our neighbour's car.

With these opposing ideals an area of tension becomes apparent when re-designing existing and future residential areas. This design study examines the relationship between parking and housing with the objective of giving them a place on an equal footing in the urban design.

The considerable parking assignment within the restructuring operation of Hoogvliet forms the immediate basis for this study. The Hoogvliet assignment, however, is not an isolated case, but it does serve as an example for other existing and new housing locations in the Netherlands, where space is limited and there is no financing available for built parking facilities.


The study is divided into two parts. The first part explores the influence of the parking assignment on the urban design. In order to be able to analyse this as unambiguously as possible a mode-based approach has been adopted. For this a catalogue has been compiled with almost forty urban models for ground-level residential environments on one and the same fictitious location. The use of the catalogue need not be confined to Hoogvliet. In principle when (re)designing any living environment it can serve as a reference. The second part examines the typological application on two concrete housing locations in Hoogvliet, the Tarbotstraat and the Vlietzone areas. The choice of particular parking models was partly prompted by the specific limiting conditions of these locations.
Standard data
Standard data

in cooperation with
Urban Affairs

144 houses, 252 parking places



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