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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Parking requirements as a barrier to housing development: regulation and reform in Los Angeles


Residential parking requirements are an obstacle to the redevelopment of older buildings that predate the automobile age. Because these buildings cannot easily be retrofitted to accommodate required parking spaces, they often remain vacant, and a neighborhood attribute that should be an asset—beautiful old architecture—instead becomes an albatross. We exploit a natural experiment in the city of Los Angeles to show that removing parking requirements can help stimulate the conversion of old buildings into housing, and thereby help stimulate neighborhood revitalization as well. Our data also allow us to estimate the costs that parking requirements place on new inner city development, and to estimate the value of required parking to drivers.

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