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.

4 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.

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