Media Release
Rethinking parking to invigorate Sydney’s town centres and CBDs
05 August, 2022

Media contact

Matt Levinson

A major rethink of car parking could invigorate Sydney’s town centres and CBDs, and support people to get where they need to, according to a new report from urban policy think tank Committee for Sydney.

Gabriel Metcalf, CEO at the Committee for Sydney, said the impacts of the past two years had provided an opportunity for a strategic review of Sydney’s future parking needs.

“The aim here is to ensure we’re providing the right parking in the right places, right across Sydney,” he said.

“If we get it right, we can help people get where they need to go, support more affordable housing, and create buzzing urban areas that locals and visitors love.”

The Committee for Sydney’s new report on parking policy, Better Parking for Better Places, looks at where parking is located, how much it costs and how it’s regulated, and recommends 32 actions large and small to improve our approach to storing cars.

Harri Bancroft, Public Policy Advisor at the Committee for Sydney, said: “We’re recommending restoring the parking that used to be available on all Sydney’s high streets, which would mean removing clearways. The evidence shows parked cars along high streets actually improve walkability and amenity on local shopping streets.”

“Commuter rail stations make sense as locations to provide increased parking, because that means people can drive partway, then switch to public transport.

“In places that are trying to achieve truly high densities, like the CBDs of Sydney or Parramatta, we are not going to be able to fit as many cars. We should be thinking much more strategically about how to manage parking in these locations.”

Other key recommendations of the report include:

  • Using the kerb lane in town centres for parking, as well as high amenity uses like parklets and outdoor dining (instead of clearways)
  • Using funding from off-street parking to pay for things like footpath widening
  • Expanding access to car-sharing
  • Implementing demand-based pricing to help allocate the supply of parking
  • Eliminating minimum regulations on parking in new development, and allowing the market to decide how much is needed
  • Condensing surface parking lots into multi-deck parking so more land can be used for residential or commercial buildings.

Read the Better Parking for Better Places report in full:

Notes for editors: The Committee for Sydney is the peak advocacy and urban policy think tank for Greater Sydney. We are advocates for the whole of Sydney, developing pragmatic and innovative solutions to the most important problems we face. We are funded by a group of Sydney’s leading corporations, government departments and cultural institutions. Our goal is to make Sydney the best city in the world.