This piece appeared in Corporate Knights, Winter 2017 issue.

By Alicia Kingdon and Cherise Burda

Introduction

More and more Canadian cities are coming to a simple conclusion: they’ve got too much darn parking. As a recent City of Ottawa video quips: “It’s not the 1960s anymore: parking rules need to grow up.”

Indeed, unique neighbourhoods like Ot­tawa’s Hintonburg and the Glebe or Toronto’s Kensington Market and Yorkville would never be built today. These special places were devel­ oped before current parking standards came into effect. They are more human-scaled and accessible for pedestrians and cyclists, qualities that make them so adored by locals and tour­ ists alike.

Many zoning requirements in North America were introduced between the 1960s and 1980s when driving was the preferred method of transportation. Over the decades, these parking bylaws haven’t been overhauled to account for our changing preferences and car use behaviour. So perhaps it isn’t surpris­ing that a growing number of North American municipalities are overhauling parking rules in an effort to build transit-oriented development, get more people our of their cars and reduce parking lots.

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