Donald Shoup

Donald Shoup is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA.

His research has focused on how parking policies affect cities, the economy, and the environment. In The High Cost of Free Parking, published in 2005 and updated in 2011, Shoup recommended that cities should charge market prices for on-street parking, spend the revenue to benefit the metered neighborhoods, and remove off-street parking requirements. In Parking and the City, published in 2018, Shoup and his co-authors report on the results of these three reforms.

Shoup is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and an Honorary Professor at the Beijing Transportation Research Center.

Link to Donald Shoup’s web page.

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Professor Donald Shoup to Retire in June The popular professor of urban planning has taught at UCLA for 41 years.

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After 41 years of teaching at UCLA, Donald Shoup, distinguished professor of Urban Planning, will retire on June 30, 2015.

Shoup is widely known as the “parking guru” whose ideas on parking policies have been implemented in cities around the world. His influential book, The High Cost of Free Parking, has led a growing number of cities to adapt new policies for parking requirements and to charge fair market prices for curb parking. Shoup’s revolutionary ideas have gained an international following of students, alumni and urban planning professionals.

Shoup has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University and the World Bank, and has served as Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA. The one-time Chair of Luskin’s Urban Planning department also serves as editor of ACCESS, a transportation magazine published by the University of California.

Read about Shoup’s legacy at UCLA.

“I can’t think of anyone who has made more scholarly contributions to the field of parking and transportation than Donald Shoup,” said Dean Frank Gilliam. “Don’s course on parking is wildly popular and receives terrific reviews from students. We are deeply appreciative and in awe of the impact he has made here at UCLA Luskin.”

A retirement celebration honoring Shoup will be held on Saturday, May 30. More details and information on how to attend will be announced in the coming weeks.

To learn more about Donald Shoup, visit our tribute page.

 

The Future of Civic Leadership Luncheon held in honor of Michael Dukakis' 20th year teaching

In honor of Gov. Michael Dukakis’ 20th year teaching at UCLA, faculty, students and friends of the School joined together for a luncheon in support of the Michael S. Dukakis Internship program.

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The setting was a picturesque private home near the Getty Center.

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Dean Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., and School benefactor Meyer Luskin welcomed guests to the event.

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 Attending were Jill Black Zalben, Joan Ashton, Stanley Black, Marvin Caesar and Dean Gilliam.

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UCLA Luskin board member Annette Shapiro and Joyce Brandman spoke with Luskin.

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Murray Pepper and UCLA Luskin board member Vicki Reynolds talked with Pat Shoup and Professor Donald Shoup.

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Jill Black Zalben, former L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel and Christine Essel, president of Southern California Grantmakers, enjoyed the afternoon.

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Former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Professor Martin Wachs, Meyer Luskin, Professor Donald Shoup and Bob Wilson took in the view.

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California Assembly members Jimmy Gomez and Matt Dababneh mugged for the camera.

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Frank Lopez MPP ’10, KCRW host Steve Chiotakis and Melissa Peraza.

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Christine and Jordan Kaplan chatted with Renee Luskin.

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Public Policy student and Dukakis Internship recipient Nelson Esparza spoke with Veronica Melvin MPP ’01 and Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey MPP ’99.

Latest Issue Of ACCESS Magazine Now Available; New Website Launched The magazine which translates academic research into readable prose is now available at accessmagazine.org

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The Fall 2014 issue of ACCESS magazine is hot off of the press and now available to view at the brand-new ACCESS website, accessmagazine.org. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find in the latest issue:

Phantom Trips

Adam Millard-Ball

When you see a new development being constructed, the first thing you might think is how much traffic it might bring to your neighborhood. (Well, that and will there be a good coffee shop there.) You may not be aware that developers pay more in costs based on the estimated number of new trips their developments create. But when that new coffee shop gets put into your neighborhood, how many new trips are really created?

Trip Generation for Smart Growth Projects

Robert J. Schneider, Susan L. Handy, and Kevan Shafizadeh

Developers must evaluate how much a new project will add to local traffic levels. If deemed necessary, developers must then invest in substantial capacity-adding projects, which can make some infill projects financially infeasible. But how much new vehicle traffic are developments creating, especially in smart growth areas?

Pounds that Kill

Michael L. Anderson and Maximilian Auffhammer

When you buy a car, you may not be thinking of the effect you have on other people. But more and more, we see that there are public costs to private choices. Your car may produce more pollution than another car, thus leading to an environmental impact affecting others. But what about the weight of your car? How does that affect others?

Fuel-Efficiency Standards: Are Greener Cars Safer?

Mark Jacobsen

The United States has strengthened its fuel efficiency regulations several times in recent years in an effort to reduce environmental, economic, and energy costs. These standards have led to an in increase fuel efficiency by manufacturing lighter, lower-horsepower vehicles. But are these new fuel-efficient vehicles safe?

An Innovative Path to Sustainable Transportation

Dan Sperling

At one time, it looked as though humanity might go on a greenhouse gas (GHG) diet simply by running out of fossil fuels. But due to new and improved technologies for finding and extracting oil, including extraction techniques like fracking and horizontal drilling, we are far from running out of oil. So how do we cut back on GHG levels, and the environmental impact they have, if we’re not running out of oil?

THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Making Parking Meters Popular

Donald Shoup

When it comes to making a list of things people are excited about, parking meters are not just near the bottom, they’re not on the list. So how can government officials gain local support for parking meters? Donald Shoup’s answer: grant parking discounts to residents.

 

ACCESS Magazine Wins National Planning Award

ACCESS Magazine, the publication housed at UCLA Luskin that reports on research funded by the University of California Transportation Center, has been named the recipient of a National Planning Excellence Award by the American Planning Association.

The award celebrates efforts to increase awareness and understanding about the planning profession, and “tell the planning story.”

Launched 21 years ago by Berkeley planning professor Mel Webber, ACCESS has consistently made transportation research useful for policymakers and planning practitioners. With a goal of translating academic research into readable articles intended for a lay audience, ACCESS helps bring academic research into the public policy debate. ACCESS is currently housed within UCLA Luskin’s Institute of Transportation Studies, and is managed by editor in chief Urban Planning professor Donald Shoup and managing editor John Mathews.

The biannual magazine has more than 8,500 subscribers and 1,000 website visitors per month from more than 60 countries. Its ease of reading and widespread fan based has led to numerous reprint requests and articles being translated by international publications, including the leading Chinese journal, Urban Transport of China.

“As a teacher, I regularly assign ACCESS articles because students love them,” said Joe Grengs, associate professor at the University of Michigan’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning. “In both style and substance, the articles are compelling enough to draw students into a conversation in ways that standard, dry academic writing cannot.”

Research published in ACCESS also inspires the implementation of new public initiatives. For example, San Francisco’s SFpark, a program that prices parking by demand, stemmed in part from ACCESS articles.

ACCESS Magazine has undoubtedly increased public awareness of the transportation and planning industry,” said Ann C. Bagley, FAICP, chair of the 2014 APA Awards Jury. “The magazine presents study findings in an engaging and comprehensible manner, helping to spread sustainable planning ideas to a global audience.”

ACCESS Magazine received the 2012 Organization of the Year award from the California Transportation Foundation and was nominated for the 2013 White House Champions of Change Award. The publication is funded by the California and U.S. Departments of Transportation.

The Communications Initiative Award will be presented at a special awards luncheon during APA’s National Planning Conference in Atlanta on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The magazine also will be featured in Planning magazine, APA’s flagship publication.

To learn more about ACCESS and sign up for a free subscription, visit the publication’s website.

Q&A With Parking Guru Don Shoup

Donald Shoup, distinguished professor of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin, has become the nation’s oft-quoted, go-to expert on parking. He was recently named one of the world’s Top 100 City Innovators Worldwide by UBM Future Cities. The author of “The High Cost of Free Parking,” Shoup has inspired a growing number of cities to charge fair market prices for on-street parking and remove off-street parking requirements.

He recently sat down with UCLA Luskin writer Matt Hurst to talk briefly about his favorite subject. Here is an edited Q&A.

How did you get interested in parking?

I backed in. Initially, I did research on land economics, and I realized that parking is a land market few academics had studied, perhaps because parking has such low status. In academia, international affairs have the most prestige, national affairs are a step down, state government is even lower, and local government seems parochial. Then, within local government, parking is probably the lowest rung on the status ladder. So I was a bottom feeder, but there was a lot of food down there.

Why is parking an important land market?

The footprint of parking is bigger than the footprint of any other land use in most cities. Parking spaces are also the most uniform and most frequently transacted pieces of land on Earth. People are even conceived in parked cars.

So drivers don’t mind paying to use these pieces of land over and over again?

No one wants to pay for curb parking, including me. To counteract this unwillingness to pay, I’ve tried to devise policies that create the political will to charge for curb parking. I recommend cities should dedicate the meter revenue to pay for added public services on the metered streets, as Pasadena does.  Residents and businesses can then see that parking meters provide the funds necessary to improve their neighborhood. In all the reforms I recommend, I’ve tried to devise policies that will be politically popular and won’t require big changes.

How do you do your research in parking?

Cruising for underpriced curb parking creates a lot of traffic, but it’s hard to know how much. From measurements in Westwood Village, I estimated that cruising for curb parking creates about 950,000 vehicle miles of travel per year, equivalent to 36 trips around the Earth. To show any skeptics the extent of cruising for parking when all curb spaces are occupied and traffic is congested, I walk to the driver’s side door of a car parked on the street and take the keys out of my pocket.  Often, the first driver who sees me approach the car comes to a halt, implying the driver was hunting for curb parking. If the first driver who sees me usually stops to take the space, many of the other drivers in the traffic flow are also probably cruising for parking.

What do you advise city officials to do about parking?

I recommend three simple policies. First, charge the right price for on-street parking, meaning the lowest price that will leave one or two open spaces on every block. Second, return all the meter revenue to pay for added public services on the metered blocks. And third, remove off-street parking requirements.

Why do you think cities should remove off-street parking requirements from, for example, new developments?

Minimum parking requirements are a fertility drug for cars in cities already choking on traffic congestion. Removing off-street parking requirements doesn’t mean, however, that developers won’t provide off-street parking. It simply means that urban planners won’t tell developers exactly how many parking spaces they must provide. Developers will supply all the parking spaces they think tenants demand. Lenders will also insist on enough parking spaces in the buildings they finance.

Parking requirements act like prohibition: They prohibit anything that does not have all the required parking. Requiring two parking spaces per apartment, for example, prohibits any apartment without two parking spaces. In effect, parking requirements tell people without cars that you’re not rich enough to live here. Like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, parking requirements do more harm than good and should be repealed.

I think minimum parking requirements will eventually join other discarded planning practices that, like urban renewal programs in the 1960s, wasted a lot of money and did a lot of harm, although they seemed a good idea at the time.

What do you think about the state of planning for parking in our cities?

Planning for parking is at a primitive stage, maybe where medicine was a hundred years ago, when doctors prescribed lead and mercury as medicines, and blood letting as a therapy. Looking back a hundred years from now, I think everyone will understand that mispriced on-street parking and misguided off-street parking requirements did immense damage to cities, the economy, and the environment.

Your book has triggered a rethinking about how parking should be planned. How do you feel about that?

I try to write clearly so readers will think, “He’s right. Let’s do it!” My ideas for parking reform once seemed unimportant or impossible, but cities are now implementing them. I hope they work.

This Q&A was adapted from an article from in the Winter 2014 issue of the Luskin Forum.

Shoup Receives his Second Rapkin Award for Best Article in JPER The Chester Rapkin Award for the Best Paper in JPER is intended to encourage the submission of high quality papers.

The Chester Rapkin Award for the best article to appear in this year’s Journal of Planning Education and Research goes to Urban Planning Professor Donald Shoup for “Graduated Density Zoning.” A shorter version of the article has also been published in Zoning Practice.

According to the awards committee the article “presents a potentially very important innovation in zoning, which could have significant application in practice. It also constitutes a theoretical advance in the idea of zoning, which remains a key part of land use planning. In form, the paper is a model for how to write an academic paper within a professional domain. It is persuasive, elegant, and economical. The author uses examples and ingenious figures to make its message clear, and it is beautifully written. In sum, this paper provides lessons for all of us, both in our search for ways to improve planning, and in how to present our work.”

The award will be presented at the annual ACSP awards luncheon which will take place in Arlington, VA, October 3, 2009.

Shoup and co-authors Jeffrey Brown and Daniel Baldwin Hess, received this award in 2004 for their article on “Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities“.

The Chester Rapkin Award for the Best Paper in JPER was established in 1987 to honor Professor Rapkin at his retirement. It is intended to encourage the submission of high quality papers. Award-winning articles reflect the scope of Rapkin’s work and have ranged from multi-attribute evaluation to the challenges of participatory planning.