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ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS AND CASE STUDIES: Why and How to Reduce the Amount of Land Paved for Roads and Parking Facilities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 April 2011

Todd Litman*
Affiliation:
Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Victoria, Canada
*
Todd Litman, Executive Director, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, CanadaV8V 3R7; (phone and fax) 250-360-1560; (e-mail) litman@vtpi.org
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Abstract

This article provides an estimate of the amount of land that is paved for roads and parking facilities in typical urban areas, examines the full economic, social and environmental costs of this impervious surface, and discusses the amount of road and parking land area that can be considered optimal. The analysis indicates that, in a typical urban area, about three times as much land is devoted to roads and parking as to residential structures, and that per-capita road and parking facility areas vary significantly, depending on planning practices, with much higher rates in areas that have automobile-oriented transport systems and sprawled land use. It identifies current policies and planning practices that unintentionally contribute to economically excessive road and parking requirements, and provides specific recommendations for reducing the amount of land paved for transport facilities.

Environmental Practice 13:38–46 (2011)

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Features
Copyright
Copyright © National Association of Environmental Professionals 2011

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