Donald Shoup is Distinguished Research Professor from the University of California, Los Angeles, whose 2005 book, The High Cost of Free Parking, is one the most influential pieces of planning scholarship from the 21st century. In the lecture presented here, Shoup presents many of the key ideas and clever phrases from the original book and a more recent follow up, with case studies updated for a contemporary landscape that includes complications like Uber and electric scooters.
In writing and in this lecture, Shoup is strongly critical of the planning profession for arbitrarily setting parking requirements, but Shoup also acknowledges the political realities of parking, which often take the decision making process out of planners' hands.
Shoup's ideas are becoming less and less heretical, in both planning and politics, with every passing year. Large U.S. cities like San Francisco, Buffalo, and Hartford have adopted citywide parking reforms in line with Shoup's prescriptions, as have Edmonton and Mexico City in other parts of the continent. Recently, the entire country of New Zealand reduced parking requirements in city centers and implemented demand-based pricing, two key policies Shoup describes in detail in the following lecture.
Planners will have to lead the world from parking captivity, but that kind of leadership is exactly what planners signed up for. Planning is supposed to be about the future, says Shoup to conclude this lecture, but parking is all about the present.