Study on parking space management finds Europe leads the way

A study released late last year by the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy in New York has found that ‘parking management is a critical and often overlooked tool for achieving a variety of social goals.’

The study, titled ‘Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation’, cited improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced traffic congestion, improved road safety and revitalized city centres as the key benefits of parking reform.

The study found that the benefits have been achieved through a mixture of public policies, regulatory tools and physical design attributes. In Hamburg and Zurich, every new off-street parking space is matched with the removal of one on-street space. In Copenhagen, parking spaces have been eliminated to make way for bike paths. Other tools include taxes on employers for each parking space made available to employees and limiting the number of parking spaces developers are allowed to build.

Michael Kodransky, global research manager for the non profit group and co-author of its report, claims that China and India are coping with rapid urbanisation by simply adding more roads and parking spaces, copying the model that the US has used in urban development. The study found that whilst in Europe demand has increased on similar levels, cities and urban planning has shifted away from simply catering to demand, instead investing in alternative means of transport and supporting infrastructure.

The resource ‘New Urban Network’ has published a summary of many of the concepts and key findings of the report,  ideas and learnings for parking management strategies, economic control mechanisms, regulatory mechanisms, and physical design.

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