Parking in Cities: Meeting Demand

Westfalia Technologies, Inc. in the News: For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population is living in cities. With more people living in urban areas, residents often spend more time looking for available parking. According to USA Today, the typical driver spends, on average, 17 hours a year searching for open parking spots. Add an anticipated increase of 40.6 million motor vehicles on the road by 2021, and convenient parking will become even more critical to the success of urban development projects.

Developers and architects now have the challenge of providing sufficient parking to accommodate a growing number of vehicles while facing strict parking regulations and the limited availability of larger land plots in urban areas.

In many cities, developers are faced with strict parking regulations. In Los Angeles, for example, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, the city requires each single-family and two-bedroom home to have two designated parking spaces, while studio apartments require one parking spot. This causes constraints for housing developers, as they need to find ways to maximize square footage in condensed areas.

According to the International Parking Institute, cities are struggling to keep a balanced ratio of population to parking spaces. As urban development grows, parking must also increase. However, the challenge is in determining the right amount since too little parking could affect further growth and too much is wasted land that could be used to benefit the economy. Each on-street parking space is valued at $20,000 per year in revenue to the local economy, so it is essential to find the balance.

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