General Urban Planning Thread

This is a thread for general discussion about urban planning and architecture. I’l try to focus on issues in Hawai’i, and I’ll use this thread as a repository for links. To start off, here’s a video on the effects of parking.

9 thoughts on “General Urban Planning Thread

  1. Interesting video, but take away the government regulations for parking and apply supply and demand. Who would move into a residential building that does have sufficient parking? That goes for double for businesses. A business will struggle to survive without sufficient parking.

  2. I think if the you removed mandatory minimum parking requirements it could possibly hurt existing businesses and owners of apartments and condos. However, here are some things that should be considered:

    1. The negative effect to these groups is a function of the popularity for driving cars. But driving is partly attractive because of drivers don’t have to pay for parking (when they can find parking spaces that resulted from the government policy). If you take away that policy, and replace manage on street parking using appropriate pricing, the appeal of driving would likely diminish. At the same time, the demand for other modes of transportation might increase. If more people walk, bicycle, or use mass transit, then businesses and those who own or live in apartments/condos may not suffer so much. I think this is basically applying the supply and demand principle. If parking is free and relatively plentiful, then the demand for parking and driving will be high. If parking is not free or plentiful, then demand for driving will decrease.

    One question to ask: To what degree do we want to accommodate (subsidize) and encourage driving? Currently, a lot of people like driving, but this is partly a function of policies we choose. Take away those policies and driving may lose some of its appeal. What’s the cost of accommodating and encouraging people’s desire to drive? There are health, environmental and even economic factors.

    With regard to the latter I’ll mention two things. The video mentions that the minimum parking requirements add costs to developers and sometimes prevent development. In terms of housing this is crucial as housing prices are function of supply and demand, and my understanding is that in many places like Honolulu, the supply is far from meeting the demand. The cost of having a car (or two) can be quite substantial for individual or family. Expenditures going to car and insurance payments as well as gas and maintenance could be used for other things.

    2. Removing mandatory minimum parking policy and finding appropriate on street parking could change the way we develop communities–building buildings closer together, making walking more attractive and practical, which will allow businesses to be viable without a lot of parking spaces.

  3. I think social infrastructure is underappreciated. It’s super important in my view. It is a difficult issue to address, but I think if more people understood it’s importance, this could create political momentum to bring about necessary changes.

  4. I’d love to live in a good urban place with minimal or no cars. I feel like doing something like this would also appeal to people in Hawai’i, depending on where it was done.

    One interesting thing in this article. Businesses complained about not being able to receive deliveries from trucks. A solution seems to be that during certain early hours in the day, delivery trucks are allowed into the city where cars are normally prohibited. (Emergency vehicles are also allowed.)

    1. Interesting. Are there other cities that you know like that?

      In terms of deliveries they could do what they do for Tokyo Station, which has hundreds if not thousands of stores. Every delivery is done to a central location and from there one company does the distribution to each individual shops. How does that help? The one company could schedule when trucks come into their facility and then organize how the deliveries are then sent out to each shop. I guess it does add another level of delivery cost, but it should be minimal because the original wholesaler would have to charge less since they are not delivering to the doorstep of the store.

      1. I think there are others, but I can’t think of them off hand. (There might be another in Spain.)

        Every delivery is done to a central location and from there one company does the distribution to each individual shops.

        I think that could work, but it seems like most deliveries are done in the morning, at least for supplies that businesses would need. For deliveries by Fed X, that’s another story. But I would think that wouldn’t really cause much of a problem.

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