Introducing the Parking Reform Atlas!

Let me tell you about the new Parking Reform Atlas.

It is a project to make it easier for parking changemakers to find noteworthy parking policies and parking reforms from all over the world.

And I could use your help! 

I hope you will make good use of the atlas. And I ALSO hope that you will then click on the "how to help" button on the site, which takes you to a page where you can submit comments, suggestions for cases or offer corrections. 

Listen to me talking about the Parking Reform Atlas in the latest Reinventing Parking podcast with the player below.  

OR read about it in the article below. Or simply head across to the Parking Reform Atlas and explore!

Below you can read about some highlights from the site so far.

With this project I am trying to be as useful as I can for parking reformers all over the world.

Urban parking minimums banned by New Zealand's national government

Local governments are now banned by the national government from imposing parking mandates if they are part of an urban settlement with 10,000 people or more.

This is almost a national ban on minimum parking requirements.

Atlas entries always have a section "why should you care". So why should you care about this reform?

Well, this is an example of a growing trend for higher levels of government and national law, state or province to restrict the ability of local governments to enact excessive parking requirements.

Parking permit innovation in Portland's Northwest parking district 

Why should you care about this one?

It's a case of making it politically feasible to set relatively high parking permit prices. Most residential parking permits around the world are very, very cheap.

In this case, they managed to find a combination of rules, price points, exemptions and incentives that managed to win local support for high permit prices and a permit arrangement that is cleverly devised to make a real difference to the on street parking situation.

Rio de Janeiro parking minimums to maximums near mass transit 

Rio de Janeiro has replaced its residential parking minimums with maximums, at least in localities near mass transit.

Why should you care about that? There is increasing momentum around the world to reform parking minimums and to consider parking maximums. In Latin America, Rio de Janeiro has joined Mexico City and São Paulo in enacting this kind of reform.

However, parking maximums are controversial amongst parking reformers. Some of us agree with them, some of us don't. My view is that parking maximums, close to high quality mass transit are appropriate, although they may or may not be appropriate anywhere else.

Nairobi is planning a shift to time-based on street parking fees 

The proposed time-based fees would replace the current flat rate per day fees.

This is an example of parking reform that hasn't actually happened yet. It's just a proposal. Most of the reforms so far have actually already been implemented. Let's hope Nairobi goes ahead.

Why should you care? Cities like Nairobi, which currently have a flat fee for all day on street parking, really should be considering shifting to time based fees.

I'm glad that Nairobi is considering this mundane-seeming change. It is actually very important.

A fee per hour can improve street parking conditions, and have a strong parking management impact by discouraging especially long duration parking in the prime locations.

By contrast, having a flat rate fee, that's not duration-based -not time based- can't play any useful parking management role. Flat all-day fees are just about revenue. But even for revenue they perform poorly.

France limits how high local governments can set their parking minimums 

Why should you care? This is another example of a higher level of government setting limits on the ability of local government to set excessive minimum parking requirements.

Montreal in Canada has a parking tax, which has higher rates on surface parking 

This tax applies in the central area: the downtown and adjacent inner areas.

Exterior surface parking is taxed at a higher rate than indoor parking. This tax applies to all non residential parking.

Why should you care? This tax has apparently played a strong role in spurring the redevelopment of many surface parking lots in the area.

That could be a useful model for for cities that are plagued with an excessive amount of surface parking in their downtown areas, which is a common problem in North America, especially.

Singapore pre-paid parking coupons 

In 1980, Singapore made a shift from collecting parking fees in the street in a labor intensive way using attendance, it shifted to prepaid coupons, paper coupons.

Why should you care?

This case is a reminder that there are many cities around the world where parking meters have never been used for on street parking payments or in street parking machines.

In quite a few countries, such as Brazil, Malaysia, Ireland, Israel and Singapore, prepaid parking coupons were the way parking fees were collected in the street for a long time.

Tel Aviv mobile-only street parking payments 

Increasingly, places that previously used parking coupons are shifting now to mobile, digital based parking fee collections.

Tel Aviv is such a case. It previously used to use a similar system to Singapore where there were pre-purchased paper coupons. It had such system since 1972 and actually inspired Singapore's coupons.

But recently, Tel Aviv shifted to being able to pay either by phone or via an in-vehicle meter.

This is a city that has never really had in street parking meters. They do have parking machines for off-street parking sometimes but, in the streets they don't have parking meters and never have.

This saves an enormous amount of investment capital investment in your parking payment system.

This is a promising approach for cities that haven't yet invested in parking meters. Such cities can probably skip the parking meter phase altogether.

More cases in the Parking Reform Atlas

Here are more examples of parking reform cases in the atlas.

Parking plays a prominent role in the travel demand management program in Seoul.

London has abolished parking minimums almost completely and adopted maximums.

Dublin in Ireland also has parking maximums, not minimums.

Seattle has performance based parking pricing in the streets.

Edmonton has abolished its minimum parking requirements and replaced it with something that it calls open option parking basically, meaning that real estate developers can decide how much parking to provide with any development.

Hong Kong in the 1970s briefly had very low residential parking maximums. Even though that policy applied for less than 10 years, it has had a long term impact on the parking scene in Hong Kong. It left a legacy of high prices and relatively low supply.

Jeddah in Saudi Arabia has introduced on street parking management and on street parking fees. It shows how on street parking fees have made a difference to the on street parking situation, even in a city that have 4 million people that only has six bus routes and no urban rail system.

Mexico City has replaced its parking minimums with maximums that have especially interesting features.

Moscow in Russia has been improving its on street parking, pricing and parking management.

Calgary in Canada has implemented demand based parking pricing similar to the Seattle case that I mentioned before.

There is a case about Japan's proof of parking rule which garners much international interest.

There is a case about Japan's relatively mild and moderate low impact parking minimums. Japan has not abolished parking minimums, but it does have parking minimums that are relatively less harmful than parking minimums in other countries.

The Digital Blue Zones in Sao Paulo in Brazil are another case where more-or-less the only way you can pay for parking in the street is through digital means through mobile phone.

Singapore unbundles the parking costs in its public housing. So if you if you're a tenant or a resident in public housing, if your own flat in public housing, you'll be paying for your parking separately from your house, which is good for housing affordability.

There is a case about the improved on street parking management in Makati, which is in Metro Manila. Makati has a surprisingly robust on street parking management system.

As I said before, please do visit the Parking Reform Atlas site and look out for new cases there.

This article was prepared with the help of a transcription by


Please do recommend Reinventing Parking or SHARE this article and episode with any of your friends or colleagues who might be interested. Please share on social media too!

Subscribe, if you haven't already (it's free):
  • sign up to get Reinventing Parking updates by email
  • subscribe to the audio podcast (search for 'Reinventing Parking' in your podcast player app or click the symbol that looks like a wifi icon in one of the players at the top or bottom of this article).
You can also help me make time to continue this work by becoming a Patreon patron of my efforts.