Shoup on Reclaiming Land for People, Not Cars

Urban Planning Professor Donald Shoup and California Assemblywoman Laura Friedman co-authored a CityLab article calling for an end to minimum parking requirements, arguing that the outdated mandates drive up poverty, homelessness and carbon emissions. “We’ve essentially built many of our cities for cars and made housing for humans incidental to that use,” the authors wrote. Across the United States, they noted, there is an average of 1,000 square feet of parking per car but only 800 square feet of housing per person. Shoup and Friedman urged passage of Assembly Bill 1401, which would end California parking mandates for new buildings near public transit and in walkable neighborhoods, while still giving developers the option to add parking if needed. If the bill becomes law, it would reduce the cost of housing and serve as a model of sustainability, they argued. “In this era of climate change and a crisis of affordability, we have to reclaim urban land for people,” they wrote.

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