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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Quantity versus Quality in Off-Street Parking Requirements


Most local governments’ off-street parking requirements promote quantity over quality, focusing on ensuring an ample supply of parking. This has undesirable consequences for the built environment. Parking lots and parking structures routinely overwhelm the architecture and urban design of even the best buildings and neighborhoods. We argue that planners should worry less about the quantity of parking, and pay more attention to its quality. Through examples of zoning reforms adopted by some cities, we show how regulating the quality of parking has the potential to improve urban design.

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