Podcast: How parking can strangle a city, and what to do about it

Abundant, convenient, cheap — or even free — parking, right where you want it, so you can drive up to your destination and find a space right by the door.

Sounds great, right? Maybe so — unless that abundant parking is killing your city. Donald Shoup is a distinguished research professor at UCLA in the department of urban planning. His work has really revolutionized the way a lot of people viewed the impact of parking, development rules and land economics in cities, and he continues to produce provocative work about the ways a reflexive expectation for free parking parking degrade our urban environment. It’s not too much of a stretch to say he’s made parking, a seemingly totally mundane topic, into something fascinating.

His core insight is clear if you look around much of Charlotte: From suburban grocers surrounded by parking lots bigger than the store, to uptown office towers and apartment buildings with as much acreage devoted to storing cars as to people working and living there, we’ve designed our cities around parking instead of the other way around. Shoup joined the Future Charlotte podcast to talk about why parking minimums are largely arbitrary, “paid parking derangement syndrome,” and what policies we can use to more sensibly and rationally approach the question of how we build and manage parking.

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In addition to Apple Podcasts, you can also find “Future Charlotte” on Spotify and Google Podcasts.