Berlin abolition of minimum parking requirements

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Brief summary of this reform

Berlin abolished its minimum parking requirements, only keeping requirements for disability spaces and bicycles. However, it did not impose maximums.

Why should you care?

This is one of only a few cases of a whole large city that has been without parking minimums for more than 20 years now. It would be useful to have more detailed information on the results of this.

Note that on-street parking management was improved but it still has weaknesses. Furthermore, strong parking management is restricted to only a few districts and chaotic on-street parking situations are common in many parts of the city. But according to Jos Nino Notz, there is no political push of any significance to try to reinstate minimum parking requirements.

Country

Germany

Vehicle type

cars

State/province

Berlin (State)

Key actor type

Metropolitan government

Jurisdiction

Berlin

Primary motivation

mode shift or TDM

Agencies involved

Decision by Berlin Senate. More information needed on detailed implementation agency or agencies.

Is it a model or a warning?

useful model

Reform type

Main parking category

Main parking paradigm shift

minimums abolition

Off-street various

Towards park-once-and-walk AND away from excessive supply

Adaptive Parking thrust

Implementation status

Year adopted

R: Relax about parking supply and stop boosting it

implemented

1997

Goals of the reform

More information needed.

Impetus (what problem, campaign, opportunity or event prompted action?)

More information needed.

Detailed description of the reform

Berlin abolished its minimum parking requirements, only keeping requirements for disability spaces and bicycles. However, it did not impose maximums.

This no-parking-minimums regime applies to the whole city of 3.3 million people and almost 900 square kilometres.

Parking within buildings is not exempted from counting towards the allowed floor area under the zoning rules (although outdoor surface parking is exempt), according to Mr Kunst. If this is true, developers in Berlin must sacrifice some other floor space if they want to provide parking in a building.

Results or impacts

Mr Kunst and Jos Nino Notz (see sources) mentioned some disappointment among reformers that parking supplied after the abolition of minimums was not as low as had been hoped.

According to the Park4SUMP report 'Parking Standards as a steering instrument in urban and mobility planning' (p.17): "The construction of parking spaces in Berlin has developed according to the city area and the price segment of a project. At the top end of the market, more parking spaces are built because they are a selling point."
On the negative side, the same report mentions: "The lifting of the parking space construction obligation makes the implementation of mobility management more difficult and reduces the city’s influence on the creation of parking spaces. Mobility management schemes saw the investor offer for example cheap tickets for public transport, car sharing and bike sharing instead of building parking spaces, but these can no longer be a requirement on the developer. In addition, there is no revenue from the compensation payment that is common in other German cities when the required parking spaces are not built."

Does anyone know of more formal reports or studies on the results?

Sources and acknowledgements

Conversations with several reliable people, including Mr Friedemann Kunst, Head Department of Transport of the Berlin Senate and Mr Eckhart Heinrichs of LK Argus consulting.

Park4SUMP (Jan 2021) "Parking Standards as a steering instrument in urban and mobility planning", CIVITAS, https://park4sump.eu/index.php/news-events/news/improving-parking-standards-sustainable-mobility

Also the Reinventing Parking podcast episode with Berlin parking expert, Jos Nino Notz https://www.reinventingparking.org/2018/10/Berlin-model-or-warning.html

Painted Greek Island

Last updated: 

13 Mar 2021