A land use policy shift is taking place in a growing number of cities regarding parking, whereby a conventional supply management approach is being replaced with a parking management approach. As part of this policy shift, many cities are lowering their parking requirements.
This study analysed changes in car use, car ownership, spatial parking patterns and the consequences for the everyday life of residents in a housing area with a relatively restrictive parking requirement in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden. The housing area, a concrete example of how lowering parking requirements can be used to achieve targets on reduced car use and sustainable urban development, is used to discuss how parking policy should be applied to achieve the desired effect.
The results show that the consequences of the restrictive requirement was paradoxically small in the study area. In practice, the requirement did not result in a decrease in the number of parking spaces, because e.g. of access to parking in neighbouring residential areas. This shows how important it is to adopt a holistic approach in parking policy, by e.g.introducing more restrictive parking requirements in parallel with other measures, such as raising parking charges and decreasing the number of public parking spaces. It also shows that planning of parking must be coordinated with other urban planning functions. Otherwise, the actual contribution of a shift in parking policy to the development of a more environmentally friendly transport system and city risks being small, despite lower parking requirements