- Parking as a tool to reduce carbon emissions   click here to open paper content79 kb
by    Mumby, Neil | nmumby@mrcagney.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Motor vehicles are the principal cause of carbon dioxide emissions in cities. Planning controls encourage motor vehicles and prevent land use intensification. Leading edge planning and transport strategies to reduce carbon emissions are discussed.
Abstract
Motor vehicle emissions are the principal cause of carbon dioxide emissions in cities. Of these emissions the principal causative agents are private motor vehicles. Whilst technological advances are occurring to make vehicles more fuel efficient and reducing carbon outputs, research suggests that wide spread adoption of alternative technologies such as electric vehicles by the general populace are some way off. Empirical research has demonstrated that the provision of car parking is the most significant influence on car use in cities. However, while the management of car parking is an appropriate instrument to utilise to reduce carbon emissions in cities, most planning provisions have the opposite effect, fostering increased dependence on private motor vehicles.
The minimum parking requirements enacted under plans prepared by most municipalities effectively subsidise single-occupant motor vehicle trips, increase living costs and act as a barrier to land use intensification, all of which contribute to increased carbon emissions. Typically parking regulations applied by municipalities mandate that each new development provide ample off-street parking within the 85th 95th percentile of peak demand for un-priced parking. Reform of these parking management requirements offers an explicit opportunity to achieve many of the goals of sustainable development at low cost, and contribute to low carbon cities. Such an approach has application both in developed and developing countries.
This paper first explains the history of minimum parking requirements and their unintended consequences on our contemporary urban form and resultant carbon emissions. We then outline a number of effective parking management strategies, and provide a guide for reducing parking provision according to each strategy employed and other site-specific factors. Finally, because parking reform can be a politically and emotionally charged issue, best practice techniques for facilitating public understanding and travel behaviour change are described.
Keywords
Motor vehichles, unintended consequences of planning regulation, developed and developing countries, leading edge planning and transport strategies
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