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Technology, Easing of Regulations Offer Potential for Parking Breakthroughs

Parking Breakthroughs

Digested from The Wall Street Journal and Yardi.

Some proactive cities are taking a new look at parking and it may help developers save money.

Developers have long contended that if they didn’t have to build as much parking, apartments would be more affordable. It seems that more localities around the country are starting to come to the same conclusion, writes Esther Fung at The Wall Street Journal.

While New York and San Francisco have been leaders in loosening parking requirements, smaller cities, like Nashville, and even states, like Oregon, are following suit, as they look to encourage the use of mass transit and free up space for more housing and other uses. 

The main benefit of the reduction of parking may be housing affordability. “Researchers in Miami and Los Angeles have found the reduction of parking requirements lowered construction costs significantly and spurred development of homes in areas previously deemed unprofitable,” Fung writes. “Earlier parking requirements had compelled developers to build fewer units than the total permitted because it was too expensive to build the required parking spaces.”

When parking is required, engineering firms are exploring parking more cars in smaller spaces with robotic car parking systems. These systems lift and stack the cars, maximizing space by utilizing an array of horizontal and vertical conveyance devices while minimizing environmental impact. 

“The cars can be squeezed into narrow spaces, as there is no longer a need for room to open doors, or for other cars to pass,” writes Yardi’s Evelina Croitoru. “Without the need for ramps and less space required for parking, the garage takes up less square feet than a non-automated garage of the same capacity. As cars no longer have to circle the lot in search for a parking space, CO2 emissions have also decreased significantly.”

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