Are Shoup's parking ideas relevant in Asia?

This is a re-posting of part of an item from Reinventing Urban Transport. The original was Guangzhou parking cure worse than disease? It was posted on 20 February 2008 and was prompted by a news item on parking in Guangzhou which mentioned revisions to that city's minimum parking requirements. It made me wonder if it is a good idea for cities in this part of the world to be getting into zoning for parking just as the practice is coming under increasing attack in the west. This was before I looked into this in more detail via the big Asian Cities parking study.


The result of parking requirements in Kuala Lumpur?

Do decision-makers in rapidly motorising societies everywhere need to rethink parking policy? There is talk of a "paradigm shift", at least according to Donald Shoup or Todd Litman. We urgently need to know what it will mean for motorising cities. Such places have not yet make the parking mistakes of North America but maybe they are about to?

In what ways might Shoup or Litman's analysis or Shoupista policies be relevant for developing cities such as Indian or Chinese ones?

By the way, Shoup suggests:

  • eliminate off-street parking requirements, so that parking becomes 'unbundled' from other real estate
  • price on-street parking to ensure a few vacancies and eliminate cruising for parking
  • return the street-parking revenue to local benefit districts.

You may say this is premature. Shoup's proposals are aimed at North America where the problem is the oversupply of parking. No-one would say that there is an excess of parking in Delhi or Guangzhou. And in any case, rich western cities have hardly begun to put his ideas into practice.

Traders in Delhi's Green Park are not Shoupistas (not yet).

Nevertheless, I think even cities with low car ownership should be paying close attention to these new parking debates.


  1. Paul,

    Great post. Unbundled parking...interesting idea.

    What are your thoughts about San Francisco's smart parking meters with demand responsive pricing (another page in the Shoup's playbook}

  2. Thanks Lawrence. I will certainly post about SFPark some time soon. It is an important trial and the politics of the reactions will be even more important to watch. I will also (first) post on the general idea of performance-based parking pricing. Thanks for being the first to comment on the new site!


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