Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Parking Policies in China’s Metropolises: Rationales, Consequences, and Implications

Liu, Qian; Chen, Peng; Sun, Feiyang. (2018). Parking Policies in China’s Metropolises: Rationales, Consequences, and Implications. Urban Policy & Research, 36(2), 186 – 200.

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Metropolises in China, a rapidly motorizing nation, are confronted with the challenge of managing parking pressures. Given the generally increased affordability of cars, most local authorities are making efforts to provide more parking spaces to accommodate additional cars. Although the worldwide paradigm of managing parking is shifting from a supply-focused approach to a restraint mind-set, China has been slow to follow this trend. To untangle the factors that contribute to delays implementing desirable parking policy reforms, this paper examines the development of parking policies in China. This paper characterizes the challenge of parking in Chinese cities as a spatio-temporal mismatch. In the context of rapid motorization, local authorities are subject to political pressure to cater to the increased parking demand by increasing the minimum parking requirements. However, this approach fails to mitigate parking shortages and results in unintended consequences, including relatively high parking density in central and transit-rich areas and imbalanced parking across neighbourhoods. This paper suggests four strategies, including market-based pricing, geographically differentiated supply regulations, and district-based parking management (Parking management is referred to as various policies and programs that result in more efficient use of parking resources). These strategies represent policy-reform targets to establish more efficient parking systems in rapidly motorizing urban settings worldwide.


Parking Facilities; Urbanization; Parking Lots; China; Minimum Parking Requirements; Motorization; Parking Policies; Parking Supply; Spatio-temporal Mismatch; Requirements; Minimum; Ownership; Future; Transportation; Cities; Pressure; Neighborhoods; Affordability; Local Authorities; Shortages; Regulation; Developmental Delays; Density; Parking; Reforms