Parking for sensible cities: webinar 2

Equity, residents’ parking, behaviour change, and some myths busted – by popular demand, expert insights on parking plus some Wellington changemaking


Following our much-viewed first webinar (check it out here), TUI Climate Community and Millions of Mothers with the Wellington Urbanerds are proud to have brought you transport and economics expert Stuart Donovan on everyone’s favourite topic!

This one was a bit different: in addition to Stuart speaking on some particularly hot topics of parking, we heard about one area ripe for change.

Check out the webinar video courtesy of Millions of Mothers:

Parking: how we behave, fairness, and price

Stuart’s presentation focussed on a few key aspects including the longer-run interesting questions like how people change our behaviour in response to parking prices, and the equity effects of pricing parking (inspired by questions from councillors concerned about the effects of the proposed new Parking Policy on poorer people).

Stu’s slides are here [PDF 2.7 MB]

Residents’ parking: what’s with that?

Following Stu, we heard from Wellingtonian Oliver Bruce (of Urbanerds fame). He highlighted a particularly amazing feature of the current system: massive subsidies (underpricing) for residents’ parking. They’re skewing people’s choices in our transport system, in a generally bad way, but since the last webinar Oliver and Connect Wellington have a path forward…

Oliver’s slides are here [611KB PDF].

So many questions

When it was time for questions, we summarised the areas of interest in the chat and Isabella fired the questions to Stuart and Oliver.

There was lots of interest in equity, and the ethics of charging for access to publicly owned space. There was a hunger for case-studies of cities that had successfully communicated to their citizenry the good news that managing parking well is overall progressive (i.e. reduces inequality).

The catch-22 of on-street vs off-street parking was a big topic, as people like residents’ associations and councillors react to the current (poorly managed) on-street parking, and feel resistant to good developments that don’t provide many carparks.

There was also discussion of the opportunity cost of space, and the extent to which home buyers factor in transport options to their purchase price decisions (or assume they’ll get free street parking and grizzle once they’ve moved in with their car/s).

(There’s also a good little discussion on Stuart’s Twitter feed, worth a look)

Help Wellington do parking better

There was a lot of interest from our audience in helping improve parking management in Wellington, reflecting its huge importance to our city’s transport system and its influence on affordable housing.

It’s a complicated space and good comprehensive change will take years – see here for more. But the good news is that all kinds of contributions can make a difference.  There’s something for everyone! And the process of change will take years, as observed We’re also keen to have more learning and discussion type initiatives, with more local voices and insight.

If you’ve got suggestions for events, speakers, stunts or nifty schemes, or are just interested in finding out more about how you could help, drop us a line.

Meantime, make sure you’re on the Urbanerds signup list so we can alert you to the next in-person gatherings and the next webinars!


Image credits:

  • Banner – Wellington City Council
  • Parking lot – Steven Davis

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