Thoughts at the confluence of density, affordability and mandated motordom. Quite appropriate as the region moves forward with major investments in alternatives to motordom, and the focus on greater density continues to evolve.

From Alicia Kingdon and Cherise Burda in Corporate Knights: the Magazine for Clean Capitalism.

Parking has a major impact on a neighbourhood’s urban design, walkability and affordability. Most city bylaws include minimum vehicle parking requirements that mandate the amount of space required to ensure enough parking for employees, residents and patrons.

To comply with these rules, developers in dense neighbourhoods that are close to convenient and accessible transit would need to opt for underground parking. Underground space liberates expensive surface parking lots and makes it available for other uses such as offices, retail, homes and public spaces. But it can be very expensive, costing anywhere from $40,000 up to $60,000 per space in places like downtown Toronto. This is as much as 15 times more expensive than surface parking. One analysis from Portland, Oregon, found buildings that provided underground parking charged rents up to 63 per cent above those without a parking option.