Minimum parking requirements and car ownership: An analysis of Swedish municipalities
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2023

Transportation is a major contributor to anthropogenic climate change driven primarily by private automobility and for nearly a century, cities have used a suite of policies and regulations that reinforce high rates of car ownership. One such regulation is minimum parking requirements, enacted to ensure that private properties can accommodate the storage of private vehicles. In recent years, cities have begun to reevaluate these parking requirements, with some municipalities reducing them, others providing opportunities for flexible parking, and some even removing parking requirements in part or all of the city. This article explores the relationship between parking requirements and car ownership by analyzing a survey of 56 municipalities across Sweden. In this paper, we develop two methods for comparing different parking metrics that municipalities use (parking spaces per apartment and parking spaces per building area). Our analysis examines variation between different sizes and classifications of municipalities. We find that across all municipalities, there is a positive relationship between minimum parking requirements and car ownership, meaning that higher minimum parking requirements are associated with higher rates of car ownership. City size is an important factor in rates of car ownership, but our analysis shows that even among similarly sized municipalities, minimum parking requirements tend to be associated with higher rates of car ownership. These findings show that reducing parking minimums can be an effective policy to reduce car ownership, but it is important to consider that these changes only impact new development and repurposing parking areas in existing housing areas may be an equally effective policy to curb car ownership.


Car ownership

Sustainable transport

Parking regulation

Minimum parking requirements



Devon McAslan

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Fysisk resursteori

Frances Sprei

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Fysisk resursteori

Transport Policy

0967-070X (ISSN) 1879310x (eISSN)

Vol. 135 45-58




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