Parking Reform Made Easy (Paperback)

By Richard W. Willson, Donald C. Shoup (Foreword by)

Island Press, 9781610914451, 272pp.

Publication Date: June 28, 2013

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (6/28/2013)

List Price: 42.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Today, there are more than three parking spaces for every car in the United States. No one likes searching for a space, but in many areas, there is an oversupply, wasting valuable land, damaging the environment, and deterring development. Richard W. Willson argues that the problem stems from outdated minimum parking requirements. In this practical guide, he shows practitioners how to reform parking requirements in a way that supports planning goals and creates vibrant cities.

Local planners and policymakers, traffic engineers, developers, and community members are actively seeking this information as they institute principles of Smart Growth. But making effective changes requires more than relying on national averages or copying information from neighboring communities. Instead, Willson shows how professionals can confidently create requirements based on local parking data, an understanding of future trends affecting parking use, and clear policy choices.

After putting parking and parking requirements in context, the book offers an accessible tool kit to get started and repair outdated requirements. It looks in depth at parking requirements for multifamily developments, including income-restricted housing, workplaces, and mixed-use, transit-oriented development. Case studies for each type of parking illustrate what works, what doesn’t, and how to overcome challenges. Willson also explores the process of codifying regulations and how to work with stakeholders to avoid political conflicts.

With Parking Reform Made Easy, practitioners will learn, step-by-step, how to improve requirements. The result will be higher density, healthier, more energy-efficient, and livable communities. This book will be exceptionally useful for local and regional land use and transportation planners, transportation engineers, real estate developers, citizen activists, and students of transportation planning and urban policy.


About the Author

Richard W. Willson, Ph.D., FAICP, is Professor and Chair in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Praise For Parking Reform Made Easy

"For once, an urbanistic reform with an approach that can grow organically and does not depend on people completely changing their minds!"

— Planning

"Direct and plainspoken, the book is likely to open your eyes to a frequently overlooked policy area that, if rethought, could have far-reaching, positive implications."

— Civil Engineering

"a very important primer for discussing and implementing parking reform"

— Half-Mile Circles blog at Reconnecting America

"it is almost certainly a step forward in reforming parking regulation."


"...demonstrate[s] how to use local data and an understanding of future trends to develop parking requirements that support local planning goals and are responsive to the needs of individual neighborhoods."

— Reference & Research Book News

"...he has distilled this hard-earned wisdom into a book. ... this book is a great contribution in the pragmatic tradition of planning."

— Journal of the American Planning Association

"This highly readable book tells us why 'smart parking' reform is needed and provides a toolkit for getting the parking equation right."

— Robert Cervero

"Finally, a comprehensive book has been written that not only helps you understand the purpose of parking requirements, but offers a menu of practical options for land management reform. Parking Reform Made Easy will help you rethink parking standards, eliminate the tendency to over park your community, and help you to reclaim land for economic and tax producing value. Simply put, this book will make you smarter."

— Mitchell Silver

"Parking Reform Made Easy provides both a theoretical framework and practical methods for reforming parking requirements. By giving planners a sound basis for developing reforms, Richard Willson remedies the problem that many planners feel unqualified to challenge and change long-standing minimum parking requirements."

— Donald Shoup

"Parking requirements in zoning codes and subdivision regulations may seem both arcane and mundane. Donald Shoup's earlier book proved they are critically important to the quality of urban environments. Now Richard Willson has written a literate, readable, and practical sequel, showing how to transform planning for parking into an essential tool for improving cities and suburbs."

— Martin Wachs

"I give kudos to Professor Willson for producing a path-breaking book that advances the prospects for better parking policy and regulation."

— Practicing Planner