A week or so ago the Council considered feedback on the Unitary Plan’s approach to parking and made a few recommendations around potential changes:

Rules on parking requirements for residential dwellings, and retail and business locations were considered by councillors and local board chairs at the Auckland Plan Committee workshop on the draft unitary plan today.

“The discussion reflected just how complex an issue it can be in trying to match expectations of individuals and businesses with the greater shift towards public transport,” said committee deputy chair Councillor George Wood.

“The general approach is to reduce the need for parking spaces where appropriate in those areas well serviced by public transport and where better public transport is planned.”

The draft unitary plan approach recognised that people will continue to use and depend on cars but this will reduce with the increase in more walkable neighbourhoods and quality intensified areas as envisioned by the Auckland Plan.

The general direction given is that it is appropriate to apply maximum parking provisions in our metro, town and local centres, and mixed use zone. These maximums need to recognise that retail businesses require more parking than other activities because of their dependence on short-term parking for customers. Minimums would apply outside these areas.

It supported no minimum parking allowance in the city centre but a maximum of one park per 200m2 of gross floor area.

Council staff will report back on allowances for outer centres, such as Wellsford, Warkworth and Pukekohe that are not well served by public transport.

For residential rules, there was general agreement on retaining maximums of one space per studio/1 bedroom dwellings; 2 spaces per 2+ bedroom dwellings; and 0.2 visitor spaces per dwelling in the city fringe area, metro, town and local centres, terrace house and apartment building and mixed use zones. No minimum parking requirements would apply to residential developments in these areas but would still apply outside these areas.

Further work is being done on the parking rules for the mixed housing zone.

As we’ve discussed many time before on this blog, while the Unitary Plan is certainly a step in the right direction in shifting away from parking minimums just about everywhere, there are still valid questions around whether it goes far enough. Especially in the Mixed Housing Zone. It will be interesting to see the result of further work being done on parking requirements for that zone – as hinted at in the final line the above release.

parking lot_01

Like Auckland, many other cities around the world are reconsidering the traditional approach of requiring parking with every development. Washington DC is the latest to go down this path:

D.C. city planners, watching the town’s car-ownership rate fall year after year, are finally asking that question themselves. At the end of this month, they plan to propose to the city’s Zoning Commission that parking requirements for buildings near transit stops be eliminated, following the lead of other cities like Denver, Philadelphia, L.A., and Brooklyn that have reduced or eliminated mandatory parking quotas.

One of the prime reasons for getting rid of parking requirements is that they’re actually enormously expensive to comply with:

The average parking lot cost is $4,000 per space, with a space in an above-grade structure costing $20,000, and a space in an underground garage $30,000-$40,000. To give us some sense of the opportunity lost, [author Elan Ben-Joseph] says 1,713 square miles (the estimated size of all surface parking lots in the U.S. put together) could instead be used for spaces that generate 1 billion kilowatt-hours of solar power. With just 50 percent of that space covered with trees, this space could handle 2 billion cubic meters of stormwater runoff, generate 822,264 tons of oxygen, and remove 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Another article notes that there are a number of horror stories of requiring incredibly expensive parking provision – only to watch it go unused a lot of the time:

In 2008, the District spent $47 million to build a 1,000-space parking garage under the new DC USA multilevel shopping center. The city’s zoning code mandated four parking spots for every 1,000 square feet of commercial space. But the developer, Grid Properties, persuaded city officials to cut the required total by nearly half.

Still, those 1,000 spaces turned out to be more than needed, because many shoppers ride the Metro to the mall. The garage languished more than half empty until the city courted nearby businesses to let employees park there. “That really hurt, to pay for a parking garage that was hardly used,” [Harriet Tregoning, director of the city’s Office of Planning,] said.

That’s a lot of money to have wasted unnecessarily.

BANKSY Los Angeles 2010
BANKSY Los Angeles 2010

Reducing or eliminating minimum parking requirements doesn’t mean that you’re getting rid of the ability for parking to be provided. In fact, you’re creating a market for parking to be provided in a more central location that can be much more space efficient (because parking can be shared between different uses that might have different peak demand times). Technological developments over time may also further enhance the efficiency of dedicated parking structures – as it happening in New York City:

To park at the garage, drivers will pull their cars into one of 12 entry rooms, where plasma screens, mirrors and laser scanners help direct the vehicle into the correct position. The driver then locks the car, takes the keys and heads to a kiosk to answer a few safety questions before swiping a credit card or key fob and leaving.

Light sensors measure the car’s dimensions and cameras photograph the vehicle from several angles. Once that is complete, the car is lowered into a parking vault, where it is moved into a parking bay. The cars are parked side-to-side and bumper-to-bumper, two levels deep. Special machinery allows access to the cars in narrow and limited spaces. Upon returning, the driver simply swipes the same credit card or key fob at the kiosk, and the car is returned to the entry room, which is supposed to take no more than two minutes.

Crazily enough, this behemoth will cost only about half as much to build as a conventional garage, and the director of planning for Automotion, the company building it, points out that it cuts down on the emissions cars create while circling a typical garage looking for a spot.

The shift away from parking minimums in the Unitary Plan, especially if extended to much of the Mixed Housing Zone, may well be one of the most important changes made to Auckland’s planning framework – enabling land to be used far more efficiently than has previously been possible.

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  1. Matt Yglesias in this column http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/07/09/end_parking_mandates_don_t_mend_them.html
    has a strong argument against the selective removal of parking minimums over the consistent city-wide removal:

    ‘by focusing reform on the places that are most indisputably well-served by transit and pedestrianism, actually denudes parking reform of its main promise—transforming neighbourhoods.’

    ‘The way things work right now is that parking minimums risk destroying existing walkable neighborhoods through the reverse dynamic where subsidized car ownership leads to excessive car ownership leads to further auto-oriented development. Selective liberalization of parking rules can break that vicious cycle, which is nice, but only citywide liberalization drives the virtuous process forward.’

    In other words ending MPRs in areas that already have the best urban form but not in others is likely to concentrate improvement in the best places and reinforce auto-dependency in the worse. Still better than no change, though we can look forward to the value concentrating even further in the more urban, walkable parts of the city. Especially as reflected in property prices. Improved walkability in the US is strongly correlated to high property value.

    The removal of minimums now, after decades of enforcing them, won’t lead to the removal of existing parking, or even the end of the construction of new parking, it will simply remove the enforced oversupply of new parking in the decades ahead, and will stimulate the opportunity for better walkability and transit uptake gradually through time.

    Better to aim to spread this love evenly across the whole city. Fixing the Transit and Active infrastructure also needs to be spread everywhere and not just concentrated on special places.

    1. djross2074

      It’s interesting reading the blowback in the linked Washington Post article. The blowback seems to be mainly from folks who fear increasing pressure on on-street parking if new residents don’t have off-street spaces.

      These folks are effectively saying, ‘EVERYONE should be forced to set aside a significant proportion of their PRIVATE PROPERTY for this particular use, whether they want it or not, simply to ensure that I will continue to have FREE use of the kerbside outside my place, without much competition.’

      A tad selfish, perhaps?

      1. Yes John that’s exactly right. It’s the same impulse we saw in the Unitary Plan debate: a very vocal group determined to preserve what they see as their entitlements over any new entrants into the city or their area.

        The saddest aspect of this for me is not just that they claiming ownership of collective amenity; the street, but also that in their total and selfish focus on one convenience, free and available parking, but also that they fail to balance that with the ways the city and their area will improve, has improved, with more people but with less parking per new person.

        These are the same people who enjoy the new cafes and variety of specialised retail, whose children have more varied education and employment opportunities in a more intense city, but all they care about is their obsession with always being able to park at societies expensive wherever they like. Depressing.

  2. Looks like a good move. But I still cant understand the logic of having either minimums or maximums. As far as I can tell, there is no coherent set of logic where this makes sense. In some places you have no minimum, some others no maximum, but nowhere do you have both. To me it is just an example of the control freak nature of planners. They cant bear to take their hands off the controls – it is either force in one direction or the other.

    1. There’s a case for maximums in areas like the CBD where the streets simply can’t handle any more cars, and a zero limit for properties where there’s a commercial frontage (etc) that doesn’t allow vehicle crossings.

      But you’re right in general, and the craziest part is that the minimums are the SAME as the maximums. They’re both seen as a target, rather than a limit.

    2. Agree Swan – in the same way I dont see why there should be any restrictive planning rules at all. Why not just let the market decide what housing should be built.

      There are some good arguments for protecting historic buildings however.

  3. Parking controls based on transport accessibility are sensible. Areas of high public transport accessibility (including mode, and potential destinations) shouldn’t have the same need for servicing by private motor vehicles as areas that are more remote. I disagree that such an approach “denudes parking controls from transforming neighbourhoods”. Not everywhere can be a town centre or node and so there will always be a natural dispersal of accessibility levels. For some neighbourhoods it will just not be possible to provide enough bus services, a train station, be within walking distance of shops, or be conducive to cycling to warrant not having at least one car. Even in cities with extremely high levels of public transport accessibility or easy topography (e.g. central London, Manhattan, Tokyo, central Paris, Singapore) there are still cars. I also think rules tied to accessibility levels reflects what naturally occurs in a ‘market’ situation anyway.

    Policies on development in London are based around transport accessibility, which is mapped. Many may be familiar with this: http://www.london.gov.uk/thelondonplan/maps-diagrams/map-2a-03.jsp . There is even an online tool to calculate the accessibility level of an individual piece of land: http://www.webptals.org.uk . For large parts of central London, the general policy approach is NO on-site parking at all.

    The unfortunate reality is that there are developers who, if they can, will develop sites that have poor public transport accessibility with next to no on-site parking. Such ad hoc development occurs already where poor desk-based zoning exercises in District Plans have taken place and zoned areas inappropriately for higher density development. While one might argue ‘buyer beware’ the problem is that we’re then stuck with a site with crap development on it. It’s not cheap or easy to remove or replace once it’s built. Poor investment hurts the community overall.

    Also, an irony of parking maximums is that due to high land values, you do end up having arguments with developers who want to build high-value residential and office developments, which they argue need at least one parking space each to be sellable!!

    So, there is a case for having both marking minimums and maximums across the region, based on a solid evidence base of public transport accessibility levels. This can also take into account future investment in transport infrastructure and help focus growth in the right areas (i.e. where the public money on infrastructure is being spent).

    1. Without wanting to be harsh, I think that your arguments in favour of parking minimums rest on poor logic.

      Let me state an alternative point of view …

      The desire to regulate the supply of car-parking, i.e. apply parking minimums, starts from the presumption that we don’t have effective tools for managing the excess demand for parking when/where it eventuates. It seems to me this this presumption is incorrect, that we do have effective tools for managing demand – it’s called “priced parking”.

      Given that priced parking is an effective tool at managing excess demand for parking, your suggestion that minimums somehow protect the community from the rapacious desires of developers seems shallow at best (at least without providing a good reason why minimums are more effective than prices at achieving demand = supply).

      In reality, it seems to that the primary outcome of minimums is that existing residents are protected from having to pay directly for the public parking they use as an area develops. Existing residents are in many ways leveraging their democratic “first mover advantage” to prevent people moving into their community 1) who may not want cars or 2) may outbid them for public parking. This is the primary reason minimums exist – to protect the status quo.

      Now, protecting people from paying for the parking they use might make sense if vehicle ownership/use was something we (as a society) wanted to encourage, i.e. if driving had positive external effects. From the evidence I’ve seen that is not the case. Indeed, the evidence suggests policies which stimulate driving have the opposite impact, i.e. they result in more congestion with all it’s associated external economic, social, and environmental costs. In that case there is no prima facie rationale for minimums.

      So I’m not at all convinced that parking minimums are anything but folly.

      Just to be clear what the issues are:
      1. Parking minimums regulate for an increase in the supply of parking, when the more effective policy response is to set prices at a level that manages excess demand; and
      2. By regulating for an increase in the supply of parking, minimums stimulate demand for owning/operating cars, which in turn has (large) negative external effects.

      Once you address those questions I’d also be interested in your opinions on the impact of minimums on housing affordability? And agglomeration economies? And why we don’t apply the same logic to bedrooms, or kitchens for that matter? After all, we “need” bedrooms too do we not? Perhaps more so than car-parking?

      And therein is the extreme irony of parking minimums: We regulate for more parking, when there’s many other potential uses of the same space/capital that are significantly more important. It’s for these reasons that Ed Glaeser, who is a relatively well-known urban economist, recently described parking minimums as “only slightly north of agricultural subsidies”.

      1. Sorry Stu, either you’ve misunderstood my observations or it must be my bad Englund. Plus go easy, this is only my second post so maybe I’m not good at this stuff 🙂

        I’m not advocating on-site parking minimums. I fully support on-site parking maximums and on-site parking prohibitions – especially in areas of high accessibility to public transport. I was simply providing some observations based on my own real-world experiences. They might sound pro-minimum parking, but I think it’s useful to bear this stuff in mind.

        I would prefer to see policies that apply location-based parking provision for developments with key outcomes stated: next to no on-site parking in central locations; sensible amounts in remote locations. Horses for courses so to speak.

        The difficulty is that we NZers love rules and certainty and so we have to make up formulas that when applied in a blanket manner can often lead to silly outcomes. Central and remote locations are easy to deal with. The difficulty comes on the margins. I’ve seen where developers try to fit as many houses as they can onto a site while providing minimal on-site car parking the areas has poor/no access to public transport. They argue it makes their development ‘affordable’. What it is is poor quality development. The only residents who choose to buy there are ones who have no choice and the environment suffers because we end up with a central urban design in a sub-urban / peripheral location.

        At the moment councils apply minimums and developers argue they don’t need to provide so many. When the council starts applying maximums you will have situations where developers argue they want to provide more. I have experienced this was first hand elsewhere. You may disagree but I thought that was ironic.

        Also, I think we should be clear what we a talking about when we say parking minimums. My impression is that most people envisage ridiculous requirements for at least two parking spaces (or more!) for each and every house – gobbling up valuable land /space that could be used more efficiently otherwise. But a parking minimum could equally be a minimum of 1 parking space for say every 5 residential units, which might be a good thing in certain developments.

  4. Yeah, it certainly makes sense to make parking requirements location-dependent. Dad’s place in Glendowie has fairly average public transport links and is in a geographical cul-de-sac, so any development in that area would probably need parking minimums. Getting downtown was OK, but anywhere else was impossible without a car.

    My sister’s place in Onehunga, by contrast, is close to a number of bus lines and 100m from the train station; it could be argued that any new developments in her area would require one car park at most. Funnily enough, her house (an adorable little 1940’s bungalow) has no off-street parking at all.

    1. Or really good cycle paths so that the train station can be easily accessed within 10mins by cycle. Cul de sacs are great for cycle paths.

      Obviosuly I dont know ehere your father is but from Granada Place to Glen Innes train station is 2.4kms or 9mins by cycle.

      That is done a lot in the Netherlands – build a cul de sac for cars but have them all connected by cycle paths. Then the streets are quiet but very accessible by cycle.

      1. Exactly goosoid. Last night I caught a bus into town. Now the journey was crap, and another whole story, but rather than cruising around Te Atatu on a local bus, I am looking forward to just cycling down to the proposed interchange and hopping on a express bus into town.

        Now, if we could just loose the saunter along GNR picking up PT Chev and Western Springs locals (who already have a lot of regular services) things would run a lot smoother. Right up the motorway and onto Nelson / Pitt St would be nice. Also, buses that cross the Link lines, should stop or at least advertise the Link stops for those of us who are uninitiated as to the location of Link stops.

        1. Yes the signs showing connections on the bus network need to be upgraded, especially when the next bus network comes in and commevctions become even more important.

          The buses and trams in Bucharest used to announce the “legatura” or connections that could be made at each stop before the bus got there and this was also displayed on a LCD panel on the bus.

          On cycling, I find the blog “The View from the Cycle Path” absolute gold. I agree 100% with his view that there is only one way to build cycle infrastructure and get everybody cycling, the Dutch way. Even the Danish are a distant second – actually he is quite scathing of the Danish developments in cycling.

          His point about “subjective safety” is bang on. We can tell people until we are blue in the face that cycling is safe but if they dont feel safe then it is a waste of time.

          For those out there winding up to tell me all the reasons cycling will never work in Auckland, I would encourage you to read this post on the View from the Cycle Path blog first:

        2. The only study that needs to be done is how fast we can implement Dutch cycling infrastructure – anything else is a waste of money.

          Looks like a good book – that elevated ring route for cyclists above the motorway is incredible.

    2. He lives in the outer reaches of Riddell Road, bordering Churchill Park – it’s about 4.5kms from his front door to the train station. From memory there is a bus service that goes past the train station, but that too is fairly infrequent. Post CRL that would become a much more viable option, to get across town, though.

      1. Hi Konrad, so according to Google maps (which I find pretty conservative) that is 3.8kms and 15 mins by cycle. I am of course not suggesting that this is a realistic alternative for your father. I obviously dont know his circumstances or abilities.

        The only point is that a really good cycle network, particularly one concentrating on increasing access to PT stations (train, ferry, busway) would massively increase the number of people for whom PT is an easy, cheap option. Especially if you have an electric bike like me – with that cycling is about the same effort as walking, even on hills.

        As you can see above from me and my fellow Dutch-ophile (is that a word? Is now) Bryce, there is only one model to follow and it is in the land of tulips and windmills. There even elderly people see cycling as a realistic option for everyday travel.

        For about $600m we could have a comparable network that would integrate seamlessly with PT.

        1. Windmills. See, the Dutch might not have lots of hills but the windmills should give a clue as to the other element they have to defy in order to cycle.

      2. Based on the topography round there I’d suspect that few would find a daily bike ride to the train station appealing.

        A better bet would be a short stroll down to st Heliers and then take the bus into town, if thats where your going.

        And if the wynyard tram ever got extended to there it would be even better.

        1. If you had dedicated, separated cycle paths that tried to avopid the worst of the hills, I am sure a lot more people would cycle.

          Hills are not that big an issue – one word Maastricht. A 30% cycling modal share in a quite hilly area. I refer you to this article:


          Any other excuses? Weather? Density? All covered here:


          The only thing that is needed is infrastructure, cycle paths and parking facilities – for the cost of one motorway interchange we could build a great cycle network that integrates with PT.

        2. Who told you Maastricht is quite hilly? Looking at a typographical map its about as hilly as Hamilton. Sure it has a few hills out in the country but nobody commutes on those unless they work on a dairy farm.

          You would have to be crazy to say weather isn’t a factor. Of course it won’t stop you 365 days of the year but people certainly don’t clap their hands with glee with the prospect of biking to work in a thunder storm.

        3. In terms of the cost of a normal motorway interchange these are normally $50 million.

          The main constraint in making a cycle path is finding the space and so you would be needing to spend a fortune on property purchase. Unless of course people are happy with the existing road network.

        4. Noone told me – I have been there. Did you actually read the links that I posted? If not, then you have no idea what you are arguing against. There are quite a few hilly areas in the Netherlands and Scandinavia but people still cycle.

          The weather is not an excuse. The most cycle friendly countries have weather that is far worse than Auckland. OK so people wont cycle on the 2-3 days a year (maybe) when there are thunder storms. That is a strawman argument.

          The Netherlands used to not have the space either – then they decided to make it. It is all about priorities (it would be great if you actually looked at this link):

          Arent we paying $500m for the new interchange at Upper Harbour Highway? Anyway, $50m is a good start, cycling will have that. Thanks very much. 🙂

        5. Actually I did read the linked articles along with the links in them. Given they all showed the place to be very flat I search further to find out that indeed the place was about as hilly as Hamilton.

          I do find it interesting that you think it only rains 2-3 days a year in Auckland. A quick google search says we are up at 176 days a year.

        6. OK well if you read all the evidence and you are not convinced then fair enough. But Norway, Switzerland and many hilly parts of Germany have much higher cycling rates than Auckland (now at about 2%). And the rate is not much better in any other NZ city, including flat Chch and Hamilton.

          With only moderate investment, I am sure Auckland could get to 10%, and even higher among school children. They all used to cycle to school but now the feeling of subjective safety is too low.

          It will be interesting to see what effect the new cycle paths in Chch have on cycling. I predict a massive growth in cycling.

          Rain? Who said rain? You said and I said thunder storms, quite a different proposition from rain.

          Rain is nothing. Arent we supposed to be a tough rural people with a pioneer spirit? But no, in reality we are all weak city people who are scared of a little rain. How sad.

        7. My son has had just 3 car trips to school this year (but not home). Has ridden with either myself or his mum for the remainder. Harden up. It’s just water.

          Just about everyone, over a wide range of ages, that I talk to would like to be able to ride a bike around, whether it be to get groceries, for fun, go to friends houses, school run, work etc. So many uses and the number 1 reason they do not ride is – that it does not feel safe to ride on the road. End of story. We must change this, otherwise we will only see very gradual increases in cycle use.

        8. It rains plenty in the Netherlands, not to mention snow! They would see snowstorms in the east of the country more often than we see thunderstorms in Auckland.

          Belmont primary now has a 40% cycle mode share after conducting a travel plan. They didn’t level out any hills to achieve that, nor did they modify the weather. If a primary school in the rich bit of the north shore can get almost half their students commuting by bike with a bit of planning I don’t see why we can get the same for other people in Auckland.

        9. Goosoid, most of us commuters are commuting to work, and so it gets rather annoying when you have to pack your work cloths and toiletries into a bag so you can have a shower and do your hair and makeup once you get there.

          In regards of children going to school, the issue here is the cotton wool complex rather than autodepandancy. For the past 20 years PT and cycling has been getting better however its been over this time that parents have decided that little Timmy can’t walk 2 blocks to school on his own but needs to be dropped off in a 7 seater.

          In terms of your hilly cycle rates, given your last example was a near flat city we can’t rule out multiple hills as a factor yet.

          Without a doubt however better infrastructure would help. The reason I don’t cycle to work is that it’s just too dangerous even though my dangerous road is apparently part of the regional cycle network.

        10. SF, the regional cycle network has quite a few roads that I won’t contemplate riding on. As for walking and cycling to school, it needs some automotive priority to be scaled back a bit. Entrances to roads, that have less than 100 homes, being built wide enough to take a semi-trailer down them AND have a car exit at the same time. Nuts. Narrow the roads down and build some priority in – be it zebra crossings or raised tables.

        11. SFLauren – yes it takes some planning – I know I do it every day. And I have to wear a suit every day. But I drove to work yesterday because I had to pick my Mum up from the airport. First time in over 2 years. God what a performance! I dont know how anyone can claim that is more convenient – I was exhausted by the time I arrived at work.

          I am only suggesting that people cycle 2-5kms to a PT station – for that a change of clothes is hardly needed – especially if you are on a good cycle path. With an electric bike you definitely wont need to change.

          I think you are still imagining the traditional Auckland lycra cycling which is a race to the finish. I am talking about a leisurely 15-20min Dutch cycle along a nice dedicated cycle path – a completely different thing.

          I dont disagree that the cotton wool complex is a factor. But there is no doubt that there are more cars and faster speeds than when I cycled to work every day in the 80s/90s. Availability of cars is perhaps also a factor. I think we need the separated facilities to give the “subjective safety” cyclists require:

          Maastricht is far from “near flat” but there is no doubt it is less hilly than Auckland. However again that doesnt explain the abysmal cycling rates in the flat cities in NZ. In fact I believe Wellington has a higher cycling rate than Auckland.

          And remember it wasnt always like this in NZ. My grandparents didnt own a car with 10 children in Chch and cycled everywhere.

          Great! I am glad you agree about infrastructure. Now please go forth and spread the gospel to your fellow road engineers!! Yes we can! 🙂

        12. I work to improve cycling facilities every day goosoid. One such example was last week were as part of the CRL people were wanting to stick in more traffic lanes at the expense of any form of provision for cyclists.

          The argument was that the existing 6m wide traffic lanes had no existing dedicated cyclist facilities so it was a good idea to prevent them from ever happening.

          You will be happy to know now that this particular spot now has 1.8m cycle lanes panned in all directions.

        13. Given the context of this particular case a separated uni-directional path would have been rather counter productive for cyclists.

          I’m doing just that however on a number of other projects where such a facility is of merit.

  5. Ch-ch-ch-changes:

    As plans to pedestrianize UK city centers gain steam, Lord Richard Rogers, architect of the Pompidou Centre and advisor on urbanism issues to successive London mayors, has predicted a widespread ban on cars in London within 20 years.
    “There will be a widespread ban on cars in London within the next 20 years, according to one of Britain’s leading architects, who has called for cities to be designed for pedestrians and cyclists rather than for traffic,” reports Kaya Burgess.

    “Lord Rogers predicted that small electric vehicles would become commonplace across the country and said that increasing the number of cyclists will solve the capital’s congestion problems. ‘By the year 2033 — my 100th birthday — you’re looking at a widespread ban on cars, certainly in the centre of town,’ he said. ‘There will be a major change in the power and form of cars everywhere, with electric rickshaws and devices that resemble Segways a common sight.”

    Lord Rogers said this week: “We’ve made many mistakes in the past by not attempting to visualise the future transport needs of London. What do we do with the extra space we will have in the city? Hopefully it will become a people space rather than the car space it currently is.”


    1. A great idea to have the Car2Go facility there. I always think I would like to live in an apartment but have use of a car when I really need it. Currently I drive a car about once a week, mkostly on the weekends.

      If I lived in the inner city between access to the shared car, bicycle and PT, I could easily get where I needed to be.

    2. Great line from that Miami story:

      “Miami will not evolve unless we push it in the direction we want it to grow in.”

      Exactly the point of the Parking Minimums change that we need; it is in order to change Auckland not simply to reflect the quality or otherwise of its current state.

  6. Although building a car park may cost some $20-30k, they are worth much more with some CBD carparks going for $100k. For houses where they only cost some $10k they add about $50k to the value of the property.

    1. An underground carpark costs in the order of $60-80k per space. You won’t find any in the CBD built for $20k. They are either underground with much higher construction costs or if they are at grade or above ground they have much higher land costs. A price of $100k is on the top end of the market, but it isn’t that much above the replacement cost in the CBD.

      1. The carparks at Urba cost 90k and were sold for 75k. No wonder they only built 55 and built more apartments where they could (143 in total)

      2. Underground parks are more in the range of $30k unless your going into some really spectacular ground conditions. Above ground $20k.

        Also if your going above ground in the CBD you normally leave the ground level for retail and then go above that before going into offices or apartments.

        1. Richard this is a real example from an actual current project and not a generalised and vague figure that you or anyone else just ‘imagines’.

          If quoting figures there must be a source, and to be taken seriously you, or any other commenter, needs to offer some sort of backup to their numbers.

        2. As I recall Patrick your $90k figure was purely anecdotal and not and actual calculated figure from construction costs.

          In terms of my car park building. They managed to make 140 above ground and 60 underground carparks for a cool $5 million. Based on your numbers they should have spent all that money just making the underground carparks let alone the 140 above ground ones.

          If you actually look at how the structure of a building works you can get the first few underground parks very cheaply as you need to dig down to get you foundations in place along with plant and utility rooms. It’s when you start to go very deep that the costs starts to sky rocket.

        3. Is it really so hard to believe that the underground parking levels of a new apartment development cost $4.9 million to build?

    2. Although building a car park may cost some $20-30k, they are worth much more with some CBD carparks going for $100k.

      There is currently no regulatory on building carparks in the CBD so I struggle to believe this. Otherwise the market would clear. Sounds like based on your price and Patricks anecdote, the number is closer to 100k

        1. Not hard to understand.

          Swan says “if car parks cost only $20K to build and yet sold for $100K then the ever vigilant property developers would build only car parks in the CBD and clean up big time with 500% gross profit margins (100k sell price / 20k build price = 500% GP)

          So, since that over building of car parks everywhere is not happening, it means that the near $100K car park selling price must cost something near to that price to build musn’t it?

        2. Not at all Greg. As most people know, people buy carparks to use rather than to simply own.

          And as you will know if you drive yourself people would much rather park near their home rather than 3km off in the distance.

          So to this extent, when a new development goes up in the CBD some of the tenants would like to have a carpark near their apartment or office.

          Now I thought it would have been rather obvious but Nick cleared it up anyway, but $100k is at the high end of the spectrum.

          I suspect there is another factor at play in the CBD as well, that being that the council doesn’t want large amounts of parking in the CBD and so I doubt anyway could go in there and make a dedicated parking building these days.

        3. “I suspect there is another factor at play in the CBD as well, that being that the council doesn’t want large amounts of parking in the CBD and so I doubt anyway could go in there and make a dedicated parking building these days.”


        4. Have you honestly not noticed swan that the council has been working hard to increase public transport usage into the CBD and have been removing road access such as on Grafton bridge.

          They are actually looking at building a rail tunnel into the CBD to get more PT users in there. I think they call that project the CRL if my memory serves me.

          They also don’t have any parking minimums in the CBD and potentially have maximums. Not too sure on that last point.

        5. They only removed road access on Grafton bridge (part of the time) after building a new four lane bridge exclusively for road traffic in parallel (not even a footpath), as part of a large extension of the motorway and doubling the size of the interchange. So the project greatly increased road access. Add in the Vic Park project increasing access to Cook St and the extra peak lane from Fanshawe it’s pretty hard to claim they’ve been doing anything other than increasing road access to the CBD.

        6. Nick, you really need to remove those bias glasses of yours. I have explaned to you many many many times in the past why the claims you just made are complety out of context and complete rubbish.

        7. So SF Lauren you are making things up to suit your point. The fact is if there was such a differential between costs and price, there would be significant additional supply. The CBD has the most liberal zoning in the city.

        8. @Greg N – slight over-statement – actually 100k sell price / 20k build price = 400% GP.

        9. I don’t own a car and I haven’t really checkd out the state of parking in the CBD recently, but I can’t think of any major parking removals in the area of the top of my head. In a sense, the new shared spaces reduced on street parking a bit, but last time I was walking around downtown I seem to recall there being pretty much the same amount of dedicated off street parking as ever (i.e: a huge amount). The most significant change I can recall was that rediculous one across Britomart Square (by Countdown) that has the chair and pot plants in the entrance, presumably for those that want to savour the ambience of cars coming and going.

          I’m extremely happy to be corrected if something has occured with CBD parking that I just missed, and the council have been trying to encourage PT use, but I for one don’t get the impression that much effort has been made to reduce the use of private vehicles in that area (shared space possibly the exception).

        10. Counterpoint, try the entirety of britomart square, that was all carparks about 3 years ago.

        11. That new carparks building down the road you mean? Well yes that does shoe that people can still get away with building some strange things in strange places. I would assume that’s more the local iwi’s doing however rather than the councils.

          I also note that based on your rates that building should have cost some $0.1billion.

          But yes I agree that sometimes you guys do make it rather easy to play the bias card. I guess it should really just be assumed in most cases.

        12. (BTW, this and my other reply are in response to SF Lauren @ 6:23pm, in case that wasn’t clear)

          I thought about this a little more, and I can’t think of any road access that has been removed either. Grafton Bridge can still be driven on by private vehicles, albeit with more restrictions. Similarly you can drive in the shared spaces (being that they are shared), so not really a removal of vehicle access. You could probably argue that Jellicoe street was easier to drive on this time 2 or 3 years ago, but again, the last time I was there there were actually on-street parking bays along its entire length. Sure, this is only from memory, and since I don’t have a car I might not be in a position to notice, but as of writing this comment I can’t think of any roads in the CBD that formerly had vehicle access and now do not.

          The implication in the original comment is clear – the blog can;t see past its own opinion and overstates the magnitude of the issue. However Fort, Elliot, etc notwithstanding I can’t really think of any major concessions to PT or walking in the CBD that haven’t been matched with some kind of vehicle oriented infrastructure (i.e: VPT, Wellesley Flyover, Most of Lower Parnell/Strand Arcade, Fanshawe peak lane, etc). Again, I invite corrections – I haven’t been out and about in the CBD much in the last few months and might have missed some development or other. But even then, I don’t think one has to far to find examples of Auckland building towards vehicle mode share in this area.

          So I reject the implication that Auckland isn’t dominated by cars, and that claims to the contrary are simply wilful ignorance on the part of the authors and commenters, and in particular the idea that the council is trying to discourage parking in the CBD. Because if they are, they send a pretty mixed message about it with the huge supply on offer (before this point gets picked up, I realise that the council does not own every parking space in the CBD, but I’m hardly convinced at the effecacy of a high level strategic goal to remove parking in the area that has as its result a huge amount of parking).

        13. Oh come on counter point, your just being silly. You can seriously be under the impression that closing Grafton bridge to general traffic for 12 hours of the day doesn’t make it harder to get from one side of the gully to the other.

          As for the comments on the shared spaces, that’s equally laughable how minimal you think the impact on vehicles is.

        14. “You can [sic] seriously be under the impression that closing Grafton bridge to general traffic for 12 hours of the day doesn’t make it harder to get from one side of the gully to the other.”

          That isn’t the point. The point is that this (and the shared spaces) are the only closure that I can think of. So a bridge, and some re purposed streets (Elliot, etc) are the extent of road closure. I can;t think of any more, but if you can please let me know.

          “As for the comments on the shared spaces, that’s equally laughable how minimal you think the impact on vehicles is.”

          Why is this laughable? The point of the shared spaces was to have this impact, it would be laughable if it didn’t.

  7. Juts on parking minimums and the new stadium being built in the Christchurch CBD, I just saw this great article about how to make a central city stadium successful based on the Indianapolis stadium where the 2012 Super Bowl was held:


    Great point that the stadium is made to look like a building and that there is no huge parking lot around it. It is in a very walkable neighbourhood with bars and restaurants all around.

    It would be great if Chch could build an environment like that.

    1. Yes the way to ameliorate those three anti-urban-quality mega buildings that governments always love but that never deliver as promised: Casinos, Conventions Centres, and Stadiums, is by limiting on site parking to an absolute minimum and activating the edges at street level.

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