Pave paradise?

The robotic car park is unlikely to offer a permanent solution to our parking woes

An automated car park, said to be first of its kind in the capital, has begun operation at a new residential building in the Al Zahiyah district. Delores Johnson / The National
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Here in the land of cars, parking spots are a rare commodity. Nowhere is that more true than in the heart of Abu Dhabi, where tension is common between visitors drawn to shops and malls and the residents of that area.

However, a solution of sorts is beginning to emerge. As The National reported, a robotic car park, with three underground levels and 85 places, has begun operation in a new building in Al Zahiyah. All you have to do is pay the parking fees and the “robot” does the rest.

But, as the 1970 Jodi Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi reminds us, the answer is not always to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot”. In many city centres, parking is, by design, prohibitively expensive. The general idea should be to discourage people from driving and to take public transport instead. For us, the ultimate solution may be to leave our cars at home and catch a big silver taxi instead.