Counting Parking Spots, From Above

A couple of researchers inferred the rate of parking supply growth in New Haven, Cambridge and Hartford from aerial photographs, between 1950 and 2010.  Both Connecticut cities had explosive parking growth, even while their populations were declining.  Cambridge enacted parking maxima in 1985, and its shrinking population trend reversed.  Thus parking is not required to facilitate growth.  Felix Salmon comments on the paper as well:

Parking lots are — with only a handful of exceptions — the best possible way of destroying a city’s soul. They’re gruesome, lifeless places, and I’m constantly astonished by the way in which governments and developers are convinced that they’re a great idea.

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