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Barter, P.A. (2012) Off-Street Parking Policy Surprises in Asian Cities, J. Cities, 29 (1), 23-31.


This paper analyses findings on policy towards non-residential, off-street parking supply from a study of large metropolitan areas in East, Southeast and South Asia. The study provides the first international comparative perspective on the issue for a region where parking challenges are widespread and acute. It utilises (and helped to refine) a new typology, which groups parking policy approaches into ‘conventional’, ‘parking management’ and ‘market-oriented’ categories. Several distinct parking policy orientations are identified among the cities studied. Given their characteristics (most have relatively low car-ownership, high-density development and with high usage of public transport) most of these Asian cities might be expected to have off-street parking policies akin to those found in older areas of western cities that have comparable characteristics. Yet, parking policies that are surprisingly conventional and promoting of automobile-dependence prevail in most of the Southeast and South Asian cities studied. It is less surprising that a number of Asian cities (mostly in East Asia) do not have such an auto-centric conventional approach. However, it is a surprise that their parking policy approaches still involve minimum parking requirements and have generally not adopted the most common western alternative to the conventional approach (parking management).

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