One big mistake many American cities made too accommodate the car was to knock down buildings and build surface parking lots, and then later just surround any new building with giant surface parking lots (YMMV depending on precisely which city we're talking about). It isn't as if cities in Yurp didn't have to accommodate cars too, even if they didn't always do it quite as eagerly. A fairly standard feature of European cities are giant municipal underground parking lots. They're often built under big plazas and other attractions. They're neatly tucked away, with signs generously sprinkled around with displays informing you which lots have available spaces.
We spent a lot of money on automobile-related program activities, but we mostly screwed up the last step. Giant underground lots are expensive.