On this page you find answers to frequently asked questions concerning adaptive parking requirements and the Innovative Parking project.


  1. What are Adaptive Parking Requirements?
  2. How much discount shall be given?
  3. What mobility services exists?
  4. What other measures are needed?
  5. Why are Adaptive Parking Requirements a good solution?
  6. What is (traditional) parking norms?
  7. What does the Swedish building code say?
  8. How much does a garage space cost?
  9. How many cars will city dwellers own in the future?
  10. How does this project affect people’s life?
  11. I do not own a car, what is in it for me?
  12. What does the next steps look like?

What are Adaptive Parking Requirements?

Adaptive parking requirements means that the local authority which is in charge of development planning, gives developers an opportunity to adjust the number of parking spaces that has to be built within a new apartment development or an office building. The city council, which is the planning authority, gives a 'discount' on the parking requirement if the developer chooses to provide positive mobility services. Positive mobility services are solutions that raise the residents and workers mobility and lower their need of owning their own car, such as integrating a car sharing service when constructing new apartments or discounts for public transport tickets. Adaptive parking requirements mean that economic resources are freed up since fewer costly parking spaces are needed. Some of the money saved in this way can be invested in increasing the mobility or for measures that lowers the need to use the car for making purchases, such as better solutions for home deliveries.

How much discount shall be given?

The given discount for parking requirements depends on the areas where houses are built and which mobility services and other measures will be realized. Within the project we will return with more facts on how much discount different cities have given for different contexts. Later on we will also present the projects evaluation of how discounts should be handled for our demonstration house.

What mobility services exists?

There are many mobility services that can contribute to facilitate people’s travel, but also measures that lower the need to use a car for making purchases.

Examples of mobility services:

What other measures are needed?

To get adaptive parking requirements to work one needs - besides introducing new mobility services - to also implement other measures. Complementing measures that among other things aim to safeguard well-functioning parking facilities in the entire city district where a new house is being built. These measures include to handle the costs of parking and the effects on the attractiveness of the city environment. The aim of the complementing measures is to safeguard that the person using a garage space pays for the entire costs of construction and management of the garage, while households that are members of a carpool or dependent on public transport will not pay for a parking space that they do not use. An important measure to avoid these cross subventions of garage parking’s via e.g. the apartment rent, is to introduce fees for on-street parking in the area around the building. This is to make sure the developer does not risk that a new garage is being empty if the they charge the real costs for the construction of the garage, since it is cheaper to park on the street.

Examples of measures that complement mobility services:

Why are Adaptive Parking Requirements a good solution?

Cars take up space; a lot of space and the space in cities is limited. In growing cities such as Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö more and more people need to share the same space, especially for travelling to work when many of them need the same route at the same time.

About - Stockholm


To save space, garages are often built underground which generates increased building costs. Many times it is not possible to get a functioning economy in new apartments with garages. Furthermore, cars take up more space when in movement compared to standing still. Large cities need new solutions to meet the increasing demand of housing, mobility and recreational space. The majority of travels to and from work need to be conducted with the most space efficient types of transport, the travels need to be spread out over time and the usage of the space used for transport of people and goods need to be more efficient. By increasing the supply of transport and mobility services directed towards those who abstain from owning their own car lowers the pressure on the road network and a more dense and attractive urban environment can be created at much more places. This means a lowered car dependency benefits other mobility services. In this context, it is needed to adapt todays organisation and handling of parking and parking demand so that it contributes, rather than hinders, the development of a city where the inhabitants is given the opportunity to organise and solve their mobility needs in a way in which resource and space is used efficiently.

Adaptive parking requirements are also a good solution since fixed parking norms do not have an empirical basis. It is not possible to define a general number for the amount of parking spaces needed for a new office building based on its area, for example 30 parking spaces per 1000 m2 of office space. The demand for car parking is rather affected by the fee that road managers, developers and tenants charge for the parking spaces, and if the tenant prefers single office rooms or more space saving open office landscapes that can hold more people on the same space. Paradoxically the demand for parking lowers for a new office building if there are not enough parking spaces in the area (see for example Rekdal 1999). The demand increases if there are a lot of available parking spaces. The opportunity for a developer to charge for parking garages all costs is usually the other way around.

What is (traditional) parking norms?

A traditional parking norm (parking standard) with a minimum level is a local enactment that means that a developer has to to build a certain amount of parking spaces per apartment or m2 of office space in order to receive a building permit for a new development project. Elected leaders of Swedish local authorities decide the level of the parking norm (i.e. if they want a traditional parking norm or if they want adaptive parking requirements).

What does the Swedish building code say?

Parking for new building developments and parking facilities, is regulated by the Swedish Planning and Building Legislation (Plan- och Bygglagen, PBL). PBL (2010:900, Kap. 8., 9 §) determines among other things that ”an empty lot that shall be developed shall be handled in such a way that is appropriate with regards to the urban or landscape picture and to natural and cultural values at the area”. The lots shall be designed so that there ”on the area or nearby in a reasonable extent is available and suitable space for parking, loading and unloading of vehicles”

It is the local authority that in the local (zoning) plan documentation (detaljplan) has the power to decide on what extent parking is reasonable, and what can be considered as "close to the area" (Kap. 8., 13 §). In the PBL there are specified priorities between different spatial claims. If the lot is going to be built with housing or locales for day care, kindergarten, school or any other comparable business, there shall be enough free space on the area or nearby that is suitable for play and outside activities. Free space shall be managed in first hand before parking, in case there is not enough space for both.

It is the car owner’s responsibility to find a parking space (and to neglect parking violation). In Sweden it has become the developers responsibility to offer parking for their tenants. This happened by governmental and nowadays municipal demands on the landlord to build parking spaces, so called minimum levels of parking norms that where implemented in the 1950’s and that many municipalities have been using since, although with slight adjustments. It is important to note that the PBL today does not say that a municipality need to have minimum levels for parking. The law indicate that it is the municipality through the planning monopoly that has the opportunity to steer the car and bicycle parking range, up or down, for a specific new housing development.

How much does a garage space cost?

It is not unusual that a new garage space that is being constructed in connection to a new housing development costs in between 280 000 – 400 000 Swedish kronor per space. A new parking space in a parking facility above ground costs less, approximately as much as a family car. A garage space below ground thereby costs a lot more. The numbers given here are based on the cost outcome in a handful of property developments in the Stockholm County.

About – Garage place


How many cars will city dwellers own in the future?

Today around half of the households in Stockholm have their own car. How it will look in the future depends on many things; how urban planning, infrastructure planning and public transport among other things succeed in increasing the availability to walk, travel by bike and using public transport to reach to important destinations for the everyday travel, and not at least how we handle the costs of car parking concerning the urban population growth. How we handle parking costs affect the markets condition for car pools and public transport.

About - Driving licences


It is hard to forecast the future. Although, current statistics of drivers license among younger people in Sweden show some interesting trends. These are trends indicating that the car ownership per household in larger cities is going down. As shown in Figure 1 the share of 18-24 year olds in the whole of Sweden having a driver’s license has been declining the last 20 years. Since about 10 years back there is a decline in 25-34 year olds with drivers license. Since a couple of years back the share of 35-39 year olds with drivers license are also declining, an age where many buy their first apartment. In 2009, 40% of men and women between the ages of 18-24 in the Stockholm County had a drivers license, meaning that the majority among young people had no drivers license. The same number for Sweden as a whole was, as shown in the figure, approximately 57%.

How does this project affect people’s life?

The aim of the Innovative Parking project is to offer solutions adapted to people's need and the city’s prerequisites.

About - Affect on peoples life

PHoto: Oiva Eskola

Adaptive parking requirements affect people’s everyday life mostly in two ways. Partly since more attractive solutions for the living environment becomes possible, partly by making it easier for those who want to get rid of problems with parking, and the time and money that is connected with car ownership when living in a large city. If one wants to own a car one needs to be prepared to pay the market price in competition with others for the needed parking space.

Impact on living environment

Adaptive parking requirements contribute to better living environments. Areas and money that developers and consumers otherwise would have used for cars can be used for things that are more in demand. It can be a large tree in the courtyard to follow the changing of the seasons where a garage below the yard otherwise would have made it impossible to plant trees, or to an affordable premises for your company where it otherwise would have been a parking facility. If the car parking that are needed are solved by a market price a couple of blocks away it can contribute to a safer and greener street for your children outside of your entrance, a traffic calmed pedestrian-oriented area or shared space design where drivers’ speed is limited to walking pace (in Swedish, a gårdsgata), similar to the Dutch “wohnerven” where children and elderly can move around more safely (see picture below). Places where older children even can play ball.

About - Deep roots

Big trees have deep roots and cannot be combined with underground garages.

Adaptive parking requirements also contribute to a quicker construction of more residential units, by making it possible to build new housing where there is no need for car parking near the property. This could, for example, mean that ten young professionals can live in new apartments near subway stations and cafes. Apartments that would otherwise not have been built since a set of parking requirement would have made the development unprofitable or technically impossible.

About - yard street

A “gårdsgata” can be used by everyone.

Impact on mobility and lifestyle choices

Adaptive parking requirements mean the opportunity, for those who want, to get rid of costs for car parking, switching of tires, car wash and still have a good mobility. New solutions for people who want to avoid seaming trips to the repair shop or car inspection with important meetings at work. The resources that are freed up when less parking spaces are being built can be invested in solutions that save time in peoples everyday life, such as intelligent delivery cabinets for home delivered groceries. If the ‘parking money’ instead would be invested in an integrated car pool in the new house it gives access to a new car or a ‘second car’ without the family having to apply for a bank loan. Another advantage of car pools is the availability of cars of different sizes. A car that is easy to park in dense neighborhoods, or an extra spacious car for seven people when doing a weekend trip with friends and family.

To conclude, we know that new solutions are needed to be able to handle questions regarding car parking in todays growing cities. We also know that these solutions can make a big difference. Innovative Parking will verify the value of these new solutions of increased options, for cheaper and better living environments as well as showing paths to a working market for new mobility services. The project also wants to show the way towards necessary changes of demand and rules concerning parking. To reach its full environmental and economical potential these new parking solutions that we are testing trough adaptive parking requirements are built upon that the residents are not dependent on their own car for the trip to work, but can get to work by foot, bike or public transport.

I do not own a car, what is in it for me?

You might feel that adaptive parking requirements sounds good for those who have one or two cars. Those who for example can get rid of an old car that more often are in need of repairs – and replace the car with new mobility services. But I who bike to work and go by public transport to my summer house? I who do not own a car, will there be any difference for me?

For you who do not own a car there are many advantages. One advantage is better access to car pools. Another advantage is lowered housing costs, since garages in new developments rarely carry their own costs. The difference can correspond to a restaurant meal for two each month just for you. You who live nearby a house that is built with adaptive parking requirements can have advantages such as access to one or more car pool cars that you can easily rent when needed. You will get the opportunity of increased mobility! And, you will get less car traffic on your street than you would have had otherwise.

You can also be benefited if you choose to move into a new apartment that due to financial reasons otherwise would not have been built if there would have been demands for new garages spaces.

What does the next steps look like?

In the next step, one or two houses for demonstration will be built, as well as solutions for street parking. The climate advantages of the solutions and the customer value will be studied and verified by KTH (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan; The Royal Institute of Technology), an internationally acclaimed university. In this way, we create a factual solid case for all actors involved. A case that can contribute to convince a (often) conservative market to accept new unfamiliar but altogether better solutions.