Making buildings fit for sustainable mobility

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Easy access to parking is a major factor influencing people’s daily mobility choices. This applies to bicycle parking as much as to car parking.
There is consensus among academic researchers that car parking availability induces car ownership and car use. Households own more cars, use them more often and drive them further if there is good access to off-street parking. Minimum parking requirements cause an over-supply of parking, thereby affecting living costs, construction costs, land use, car ownership and mode share. If requirements for minimum amounts of parking were removed, housing developers would offer less car parking, especially in downtown areas.

Requirements for the provision of minimum amounts of car parking have been shown to be contradictory to sustainable mobility. ECF therefore strongly recommends public authorities at all levels to introduce maximum parking limits for cars instead. Maximum parking facilities should be facilitated through mobility management, such as the provision of bike- and car sharing services, and also better urban and spatial planning, such as avoiding new developments in low-density areas and when there is no good access to public transport.

This paper looks at off-street parking regulations, both for bicycles and cars, in a total of 31 countries (EU-28 + Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). For 28 countries we analysed national codes. For three states with a federal structure – Austria, Belgium and Germany – we analysed a total of 28 regional parking regulations in the federal regions. The main criterion is how parking has been regulated in apartment buildings as the majority of trips starts and/or ends here. ECF is not aware of any other comparable survey in this field.

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Publisher: ECF

Publication Date: 22-11-2018