Our supporting study for the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan of Tallinn was made public today by the city. It is currently available only in Estonian but soon we are going to produce a summary in English.
Ensuring a city’s success and innovations based on urban assets requires connections and proximities, urban density and diversity of activities. A city can grow economically and socially without expanding if it is capable of more densely concentrating capital, jobs and social interactions. From this perspective, the efficient organisation of car-parking, evading a substantial increase of required parking spaces, has wide consequences for Tallinn’s economic growth, social cohesion and quality of life.
The societal cost of parking is high, even more so if parking is kept free. To cover the construction and management costs of free parking provided by commercial activities and supermarkets – places where there is high demand for parking space – inflate retail prices. Customers, thus, find the cost of free parking included in the price of their cinema ticket, groceries, or a cup of coffee. In many other cases, like off-street parking, these costs are covered by taxpayers, since design, construction and management costs are covered by the city.
It is clear that supplying too many parking lots impedes both economically-generative land-uses and sustainable possibilities for public and recreational amenities. It, likewise, makes urban structures less dense, increasing both the average distance between services and the commute-time between work and home, resulting in higher vehicle traffic and less sustainable living.
There is more, but for now only in Estonian. Click here to download the full report in Estonian language.