Cities Are Falling Out of Love With the Parking Lot
Many local governments are scrapping requirements that once made cars the center of the urban landscape
They are gray and rectangular, and if you laid all 2 billion of them together they would cover an area roughly the size Connecticut, about 5,500 square miles. Parking lots have a monotonous ubiquity in U.S. life, but a growing band of cities and states are now refusing to force more on people, arguing that they harm communities and inflame the climate crisis.
For many years, local governments have required the construction of parking lots as part of any development. These measures, along with expansive highways that cut through largely minority neighborhoods and endless suburban sprawl, have cemented cars as the default transportation option for most Americans.
Starting in January, though, California will become the first US state to enact a ban on parking minimums, halting their use in areas with public transport in a move that Governor Gavin Newsom called a "win-win" for reducing planet-heating emissions from cars, as well as helping alleviate the lack of affordable housing in a state that has lagged in building new dwellings.
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