street corner in downtown Pasadena

After Decades of Research and Advocacy, Parking Reform Is Finally a Hot Topic

Donald Shoup, distinguished research professor of urban planning, is highlighted in the New York Times and Public Square, a journal of the Congress for New Urbanism, for his impact on parking policies nationwide. Decades of auto-centric planning in the United States have made it difficult to achieve walkable cities, but more and more local and state governments are overhauling their parking regulations. They include cities such as Pasadena and San Jose, which have joined the parking reform train to encourage walkable and bikeable spaces. The humble parking spot is suddenly a hot topic, the New York Times writes, even though Shoup has been promoting these reforms since the 1970s. His 2005 book “The High Cost of Free Parking” had an impact on the entire country and is now considered a classic in planning literature. “Shoup’s influence is a credit to persistence and focus in academic research,” Public Square noted.


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