Because the urban hellhole is old by American standards, plots are small and there isn't much off street parking. But when new construction does come in, neighborhood groups tend to push for lots of off street parking because they don't want to lose their precious almost free parking spots on the street. The thing is that cars take up a lot of space and plots are small. There just isn't room for cars. There's a proposal for a development on an empty lot near me and the local CW is something like "that plot is too small for that development and also it needs parking." The disconnect is bizarre.
Anyway, the point is, cars take up a lot of space. It's time we understood that.