Expert view: Is Parking Fit for Purpose?

The East Anglian coastal town of Ipswich has declared its aim to be the first ‘15 minute town’ post Covid. Its published Vision for the Town, 2021 – 25 emphasises the need to develop as a compact, livable and walkable place – not an urban sprawl.

The emphasis on compact places connected by sustainable transport options such as walking and cycling is all part of an urban trend in design that has been accelerated by the pandemic.

priority features

Ipswich deserves to be congratulated for being on trend. Parking reduction in urban centres is gathering momentum worldwide:

  • In Houston, Texas, the Walkable Places Program will roll back some land-use regulations, such as requirements for minimum setback and the number of off-street parking spaces.
  • In Paris, the government has plans to scrap 70,000 parking spaces in favour of making local neighbourhoods greener and more liveable.
  • In Stockholm, using pre-built furniture modules, parking spaces are being replaced by tables, benches and plants. It’s all part of a government plan to help people improve the immediate environment around their homes, led by the Swedish state innovation agency, Vinnova. The One Minute City, Stockholm

But here in the UK, most local authorities will struggle without the tools to present a compelling case to cautious car users and to counteract territorial behaviour by the car parking industry. It is my contention that local councils that identify and reduce their redundant parking capacity will reap the economic, social and environmental benefits.

If we utilise the data which makes a compelling case for parking reduction, we can harness the power of existing technology to shift sustainable city centre development up a gear.

Read my full blog on our website:

Too much of a good thing?
by Adrian Segens

Adrian Segens is an Ethos Partner and founder of – a cost effective solution for creating places that work better for people, planet and profit.

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