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Carfree and low-car development

Melia, Steve

Carfree and low-car development Thumbnail


Steven Melia
Senior Lecturer in Transport Planning


Stephen Ison

Corinne Mulley


© 2014 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. Purpose-This chapter defines and describes the different types of carfree and low-car development found in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, analysing the benefits and problems they bring and their implications for parking policy. Methodology/approach-The chapter draws on the literature on UK and European carfree developments, including primary research conducted by the author into the potential for carfree development in the United Kingdom. It is also informed by a series of observational visits to some of the principal carfree developments around Europe. Findings-The UK concepts of car-free and low-car housing are limited in scope, defined by the absence or reduced level of parking. The European concept of carfree development is broader, bringing greater benefits to the immediate residents. All have led to lower traffic generation. European carfree developments bring other benefits to their residents such as more socialisation between neighbours and earlier independence for children. The potential demand for car-free and low-car housing is greatest in the inner areas of larger cities. These are also the places which offer the most suitable development locations. The most common problems encountered relate to parking and/or management of vehicular access. To avoid overspill problems, parking needs to be controlled on the streets surrounding carfree or low-car developments. Practical implications-The benefits of carfree development are greatest in urban areas where road capacity and/or parking are under the greatest pressure. Thus carfree development is a useful tool for cities undergoing urban intensification. Originality/value of paper-The chapter is the first to analyse carfree and low-car development from a parking perspective and to demonstrate their implications for parking policy.


Melia, S. (2014). Carfree and low-car development.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Sep 10, 2014
Publicly Available Date Aug 2, 2016
Journal Transport and Sustainability
Electronic ISSN 2044-995X
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Pages 213-233
Series Title Transport and Sustainability
Keywords parking, carfree development, low-car development
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