Park It Right: How to Solve the Parking Deluge

on street parking issue in india

How to solve the problem of parking in our cities? Here is a short carousel that explains how parking ails our cities and how it can be solved.

 The Parking Conundrum

With increasing motorisation, most Indian cities are grappling with managing and mitigating challenges posed by parking. Cities are trying to solve the problem by increasing parking supply through multi-level car parking structures built with public funds and greater parking requirements from the private sector through changes in building regulations. Unfortunately, they have not solved the problem. More parking is inducing more private motor vehicle use. The result: choked streets, choked lungs, and a planet threatened by climate change.

What Should Be Done?

Lack of effective on-street parking management is resulting in suboptimal use of precious street space. Streets are essential for the movement of people—especially via sustainable modes like walking, cycling, and buses—as well as freight. A less understood but equally important role of streets is as vibrant public spaces. Therefore, the goal must be to move parking to off-street locations.

In addition, parking space must be seen for what it is: a form of real estate whose supply and price are best determined by the market. Parking is a commodity, not a public good. Instead of spending money on creating parking structures, cash-strapped Indian cities should tap into motor vehicle parking as a perennial source of funds to invest in sustainable transport and public space improvements.

A Pathbreaking Parking Study

UrbanWorks and its partners (The Urban Lab) conducted a comprehensive study to develop a parking reform roadmap for Indian cities. Pimpri-Chinchwad and Surat were chosen as deep-dive cities for in-depth analysis based on the interest and willingness of the respective municipal corporations to engage in a dialogue to find answers.

The study addressed the following key questions:

  1. Assess what is stopping Indian cities from adopting a progressive approach to parking regulation and its management, and provide them with a roadmap to contain the negative externalities of excessive parking supply.
  2. Find what it would take to create a functional and efficient private sector market for parking and assess its social, economic, and environmental benefits compared to the present situation where most of the parking happens haphazardly on the streets.
  3. Develop a framework for Indian cities to price parking, not just to contain the negative externalities of parking but also to create a perennial source of revenue that can be invested in sustainable mobility and public space improvement initiatives.

The team prepared a parking reform roadmap based on extensive research and review of existing policies and regulations across India as well as global best practices; on-ground surveys to assess existing demand and supply of parking as well as to understand user perspectives and willingness to pay for parking, and; consultations & workshops with various stakeholders to discuss and develop pragmatic solutions that would work in the Indian context.

Parking is like a magnet. If you create more parking, you will attract more cars and traffic. Do you wish to solve the parking problem in your city? Write to us at You can learn more about us and the causes we support by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Related Blogs