the high cost of free parking
the high cost of free parking
aug 12, 2009

the high cost of free parking

in his new book the high cost of free parking UCLA urban planning teacher donald shoup makes the case that urban parking has a high, hidden cost:

the free parking that americans love isn’t really ‘free’ at all. a recent parking garage project in new haven, conneticut, for example, cost more than 30 million USD for almost 1,200 spaces – that’s more than 25,000 USD per space. if you were to finance it using a mortgage, the actual cost would be over 40,000 USD per space. this breaks down to roughly 135 USD a month, or 1,600 USD a year per space – not including externalities like the air pollution and congestion created by increased trips drawn by cheap parking. even when garages and meters charge for parking,they rarely charge the real value of the parking space. (in vauban, by contrast, drivers must purchase a parking space in the garages at 40,000 USD each.) all this amounts to a massive subsidy. shoup calculates that in 2002 the total subsidy just for off-street parking was between 127 and 374 billion USD (for comparison, the budget for national defense that year was 349 billion USD).

who pays for this? everyone. the cost of building all that parking is reflected in higher rents, more expensive shopping and dining, and higher costs of home-ownership. those who don’t drive or own cars thus subsidize those who do.

the high cost of free parking free parking image

via boing boing

think outside the parking box’ international design competition designboom and nissan motor company are looking for YOUR artwork that illustrate your perception within the theme ‘think outside the parking box’. challenge conventional urban parking! playful enhanced parking technology, robotic facilities, safety, dynamic services, green parking … creative solutions that address urban parking problems, statements of objections,

creative-innovative-and-hilarious ideas in form of videos, art- design objects and illustrations can be submitted. register for free here

  • tat picture is taken from a public parking lot in Singapore.. Lol!


have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

latest news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
507,331 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine