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Minimum parking requirements are a common form of planning regulation in urban planning rulebooks throughout Australia and New Zealand. Although they are intended to address transport outcomes, such as excess demand for on-street parking and localised congestion from cars circling to find parking spaces, there is a growing body of evidence that they are not an efficient way of doing so. In particular, their negative effects on the cost of and capacity for new development can substantially outweigh their benefits.

As an input into the development of the Auckland Unitary Plan, which reduces or removes minimum parking requirements in many areas of the city, Auckland Council commissioned MRCagney to investigate the economic impacts of parking requirements in Auckland. This represented the first attempt to comprehensively quantify the costs and benefits of a planning policy in the New Zealand context. In our report, we identified, measured, and compared:

  • The economic benefits of parking requirements, in terms of avoided parking management costs to manage parking spillover; and 
  • The economic costs of parking requirements, which arise due to the fact that requirements are often set at an excessively high level that lowers the value of development, as well as added congestion arising from increased car use.

This analysis demonstrates our expertise in evaluating parking management strategies and our ability to devise tailored evaluation methodologies to address complex policy issues. The findings were published by Auckland Council as part of its Section 32 report on the Auckland Unitary Plan and subsequently presented in independent hearings on the plan.

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