Parking Policy in Action

Description: Parking policy can be used to encourage people out of cars and to walk, cycle, car pool and catch public transport. Parking policies can influence travel choice through two key aspects: the cost of parking; and, the supply of parking at the end of the trip.

There are a number of other issues that need to be managed whilst developing a parking policy. These include:

  • concern by local businesses on economic viability
  • concern by community of over spill parking into residential streets
  • appropriate parking rates for land use
  • opportunities for reductions in supply due to mixed land uses
  • market and community acceptance
  • sufficient level of provision of parking for increasing demands

However, these issues can be managed through offering improvements in other areas such as streetscapes i.e. where on-street parking is removed and replaced by street trees, wider footpaths, additional pedestrian crossings etc. Examples of some innovative approaches to parking management and policy are provided below.

East Perth maximum parking rates (1) – East Perth has imposed a limit on the maximum amount of parking supply allowed for various types of land uses.  This is a move away from minimum parking supply allowances implemented in most Australian cities and towns. The rationale for this approach in East Perth is “where there is a high intensity of land use and there is generally good accessibility to a range of transport modes, it is not necessarily appropriate to enforce minimum parking requirements and maximum parking requirements should be imposed & to ensure that land is not unduly devoted to the provision of parking, when it could be utilised for the development of more active and productive uses that make a positive contribution to the richness and vitality of an area.” (1)  In addition, in some locations in East Perth where there is high quality pedestrian environments close to public transport, a further reduction of 20% of the supply is proposed for sites located within 400m walking distance of the transit node and 15% reduction in supply for sites located within 800m walking distance of the transit node. In these cases the reduction is not mandatory.

For information on the East Perth Redevelopment project, go to

Town of Vincent Discount Rates – The Town of Vincent in Western Australia has introduced an approach to parking discounts based on access to public transport and other factors. The car parking requirements can be reduced through the applicability of adjustment factors, reflecting particular site and design characteristics. Examples of reductions implemented include a:

  • 20% reduction of car park spaces if the development is within 800m of a rail station
  • 15% reduction of car park spaces if the development is within 400 m of a bus stop/station
  • 20% reduction of car park spaces if the proposed development contains a mix of uses where at least 45% of the gross floor area is residential
  • 15% reduction of car park spaces if proposed development is within 400m of one or more existing public car parks with spaces greater than 75 spaces
  • 10% reduction of car park spaces if proposed development provides end of trip facilities for bicycle users
  • 5% reduction of car park spaces if secure on site or adjacent street bike parking is provided
  • 10% reduction of car park spaces if proposed development is within a district centre

Cairns Regional Council CBD Streetscape Masterplan  also see this strategy which aims to remove up to 800 parking spaces from the CBD over 15 years.  The document contains excellent detail of the elements of the CBD, what should be retained, enhanced or removed. It includes strategies for public art, increased pedestrian crossings, way finding, street furniture, and other infrastructure. (Click here for the link)

Copenhagen Parking Policy (2) – The City of Copenhagen has a parking policy for its city centre area which states that total parking capacity of the city centre must not increase. The policy does allow for provision of multi-storey and underground car parks to be provided on the proviso that this must only happen if parking spaces on streets and in squares are closed down. The city aims to create more squares and pedestrian areas in location where parking exits. The Copenhagen parking policy has also introduced parking fees into the city centre to restrict long term parking and found that this has reduced parking demand in the centre by 30%, with is estimated to be broken down as 10% less traffic to/from the centre and the rest is a reduction in the length of time people are parking (i.e. less commuter long term parking). A survey undertaken of parkers and their trip purpose indicated that this policy has resulted in a doubling of customer parking and halving of the commuter demand. Some other key elements of the parking policy has involved closing down 300 parking spaces to make more squares; allowing residents and small businesses to buy special parking licenses for the areas where paid parking has been introduced; and free parking provisions for electric cars.  The City of Copenhagen has 7kms of pedestrian streets, 4kms of other pedestrian areas and 296kms of cycle paths.



  1. East Perth Redevelopment Scheme 1992, Scheme Amendment No. 19 September 2004
  2. LEDA Case Study Copenhagen Denmark