Barter, P. A. (2015) A parking policy typology for clearer thinking on parking reform, International Journal of Urban Sciences, 19:2, 136-156.


This paper contends that the absence of a widely understood typology of parking policy approaches is causing confusion in an important urban policy arena. This is apparent across the parking policy literature, both academic and practical, and across several regions. Previous typologies are reviewed and found to be either incomplete, overly simplistic, inaccurate, or failing to offer insight beyond merely describing the diversity. None enables much insight into the thinking behind each approach and reform thrust. To remedy this gap, a new approach to classifying parking policies is proposed. It is based on making explicit the contrasting mindsets behind different parking reform directions. A review of geographical diversity (both international and within metropolitan areas) is presented. This allows the value of the taxonomy to be evaluated, as well as enabling some refinements. Three main mindsets are posited, with each being defined by answers to two key questions. Each mindset has contrasting assumptions about the nature of parking as an economic good. Further detail in the typology is enabled through a third dimension based on one further question. New clarity provided by the new classification approach should reduce the tendency for parking debates to be confounded by the conflation of distinct reforms, by false dichotomies and by ‘straw man’ portrayals of key alternatives.

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