The pandemic shone new light on the value of urban land. Climate change has also prompted some serious thought to the role of the car in the urban landscape.
In Montreal a parking lot has become a children’s playground. In Winnipeg several have become popular beer gardens. In Toronto, a 100-unit apartment building is replacing a downtown parking lot.
We are witnessing the gradual dismantling of the idea that more parking is better.
There is some local pushback, because change can be hard to understand at first. But the trend is accelerating. After all, is a parking lot the highest and best use in a dense urban neighborhood? Surely not!
Now both Canadian and US cities are eliminating parking minimums completely. These minimums force developers to include parking based on anything but rigorous standards. And they are expensive.
The removal of parking minimums holds great promise. Some outcomes I expect to see? Better quality affordable housing. Pedestrian-friendly streets. Lots more outside dining. Long-vacant urban lots finally redeveloped.
Here’s the article that got us so excited. Want to read more like this? Follow Eve on Linkedin.