Parking may not be the subject of scintillating conversation among non-planners, but the hundreds of municipal, state, and community leaders who came to the sPARKing New Ideas conference on April 8, 2014 really got it: parking is everything. (For the videos, presentations, and other information that will convince you this is the case, visit MAPC/parking).
Donald Shoup, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA, author of the seminal book “The High Cost of Free Parking,” and official parking rock star, gave the keynote address. Professor Shoup talked about the benefits of charging the right price for on-street parking, returning parking revenue to the neighborhood in which it is raised, and removing sometimes- near-random (as pictured below, right) and often counterproductive minimum off-street parking requirements.
These ideas and others were explored by distinguished speakers throughout the symposium. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki (above, right) addressed a plenary session, and Stephanie Pollack, Associate Director of Research of the Kitty & Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy (below, right), made a compelling case for why parking has an impact on affordable housing, economic development, and climate change.
sPARKing New Ideas: Parking Strategies for Stronger Communitieswas was sponsored in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association.