The Future of Residential Parking in the Netherlands: the Impact of Increasing Car Ownership on the Character of Residential Areas

The Future of Residential Parking in the Netherlands: the Impact of Increasing Car Ownership on the Character of Residential Areas


P van de Coevering, Netherlands Institute for Spatial Research, NL


The increase in car ownerhsip levels creates parking problems and affects livability in residential areas. In this study we provide insight in regional effects of increased car ownership levels in residential areas and explore possible solutions.


During the last two decennia, car ownership levels per household have increased with 25%. In the meantime, the share of parking space in existing residential areas could not keep up with this development. This mostly due to lack of additional space, the parking space on surface level in existing residential areas is more or less fixed. Furthermore, the residents of newly build areas proved to have higher car ownership levels than their counterparts in the other urban areas. Consequently, the parking standards in this newly build areas also proved to be insufficient to cater for the high car ownership levels. The lack of parking space in both old and new residential environments leads to parking problems and affects the livability of these areas. In the nearby future, the car ownership levels will continue to increase on a national level. However, the regional impact of these developments remains unclear.

In our study we provide insight in this regional development of car ownership levels and we explore the possible impacts of this increase in several different types of residential areas. These range from the old residential areas near the city centers to the newly build areas on the fringe of cities. The typology is based on urban design, location, level of multifunctionality and parking facilities. The underlying hypothesis is that the level and nature of the parking problems differ between these areas. Near city centers for instance, a large part of the parking problems are caused by visitors of shops and business and consequently problems occur during day- and nighttime. On the contrary, parking problems in the monofunctional residential areas on the fringe of cities are almost entirely caused by the high levels of car ownership of the residents and these occur during the evening and night.

Next we explore possible solutions for the parking problems in these residential areas. These incorporate possibilities to increase parking space as well as to reduce the demand for parking space.
The extend in which parking space can be increased depends for instance on urban design, location and the costs of different parking structures. In our research we look at solutions on surface level, underground parking structures and mechanical / automated parking. Reducing the demand for parking space can be established by introducing parking measures or by providing alternatives for car ownership. Parking measures include parking permits, parking charges, time restrictions and so forth. Alternatives for the private car ownership are car sharing and the use of other transport modes.
The study combines knowlegde of transport studies and urban design and results in an overview of regional growth in car ownership levels in the near future (2020 & 2030) and best practices to manage the parking problems in different types of residential environments.


Association for European Transport