Parking Expert Donald Shoup Will Be Clarkson Chair in Planning at UB in January

Influential proponent of fair market parking calls for an end to employer parking subsidies

Release Date: January 8, 2010 This content is archived.


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Parking expert Donald Shoup will present the School of Architecture and Planning's 2010 Clarkson Lecture on Jan. 27.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Donald Shoup, PhD, a widely published and influential professor of urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been named the 2010 Clarkson Visiting Chair in Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning.

Shoup's extensive research into parking as a key link between transportation and land use has had important consequences for cities, the economy and the environment.

He will be scholar-in-residence in the UB School of Architecture and Planning Jan. 25-29, during which time he will teach and present a series of public lectures and seminars on and off campus for both academicians and local planning practitioners.

Among them is the free, public 2010 Clarkson Lecture, which will be held Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in 301 Crosby Hall, South Campus.

Shoup is the author of "The High Cost of Free Parking" (2005), a 773-page tour de force in which he argues against the large consumption of land and other resources in urban and suburban areas for motor vehicle parking.

Free parking, he sayd, has contributed to auto dependence, rapid urban sprawl and bad urban design, and distorts transportation choices, promotes extravagant energy use, hurts the economy, damages the environment and provokes a host of other problems.

The book popularized market-rate parking and performance parking, both of which raise the price of metered street parking with the goal of reducing cruising for parking and double parking. It has led many cities to reduce or remove off-street parking requirements, and to charge fair market prices for curb parking and dedicate the resulting revenue to finance public services in districts that generate that revenue.

"Performance Parking" or variable rate parking, based on Shoup's ideas, employs electronic parking meters to make parking spaces in desirable locations and at desirable times more expensive than at less desirable locations. Other variations also include escalating rates based on duration of parking. For more information, go to

Shoup's research on employer-paid parking, published as "Parking Cash Out" (2005), led to passage of California's parking cash-out law, which requires certain employers who provide subsidized parking for their employees to offer a cash allowance in lieu of a parking space, and to changes in the Internal Revenue Code to encourage parking cash out.

Shoup is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University and the World Bank, and has served as director of the Institute of Transportation Studies and chair of the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA.

He holds several degrees from Yale University: a BE in electrical engineering and a BA, MA and PhD in economics.

During his 30-year tenure at UCLA, Shoup chaired the Department of Urban Planning, directed the Institute of Transportation Studies and was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. Prior to that he was a research economist at the UCLA Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii.

The Clarkson Visiting Chair is an endowed visiting position awarded to distinguished scholars or professionals in the disciplines of architecture and urban planning. It recognizes excellence in the pursuit of scholarship and professional application within these disciplines and is made possible by the generous support of Will and Nan Clarkson.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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