There is a considerable number of design considerations when designing car park facilities for a new development.
There needs to be enough space to comfortably allow customers to find a space even at peak times, but not so much that they must travel a long distance to reach their vehicle. As well as this, extra land costs money, so it is important to consolidate and make the most of the space available.
As a result, concrete multistorey car parks have been a popular fixture of cities for as long as cars have been, with the earliest car parks in the first few years of the 20th century built to compensate for the exceptionally low range of petrol and electric cars during that time.
They are complex to build and car park resurfacing is a different process than it would be for a more open car park, but they have become the best way to ensure that thousands of people can find a place to park their cars near to a city or shopping centre.
Because of this disparity between square footage and usable space, most car parks are measured by capacity, and how many cars can be stored within them.
As a result, the largest car park in the world, somewhat surprisingly, is based at West Edmonton Mall, based in the fourth most populous province of Canada, Alberta.
The car park, which can hold 20,000 vehicles at full capacity with an additional overflow facility to store another 10,000, was built alongside the mall itself in 1981 as an audacious way by Edmonton, then a relatively unknown city with 500,000 people living in it, to build their way into notoriety.
It started as a large shopping mall, but with three subsequent expansions would become an all-encompassing tourist destination, complete with what was at the time the world’s largest amusement park and roller-coaster, even hosting a training facility for the then dominant Edmonton Oilers, one of the greatest NHL teams ever assembled.