C&W Perspectives

Driving Factors – The Impact of Urban Transport Trends on Carparks and Commercial Real Estate The way we move around cities is changing. Different daily routines and new models of transport provision means the role of carparks as urban infrastructure is increasingly uncertain. T he self-driving car may still be some distance away, but advances in autonomous vehicle technology, alongside mounting concerns about the impact of congestion and air pollution are set to change not just how we navigate our cities, but how we build them. Millennials are leading this change. There has been a 50% reduction in miles travelled by 18-30 year olds since 1990, with the fact that urban cores are densifying having a major impact. How we travel and if we travel are also significant factors in the car park decline. Within dense urban areas, public transport seems to be the obvious solution to reduced car numbers and again young people in urban areas have driven this, particularly in terms of commuting behaviour. And of course technology has had a fundamental impact . Whilst it has not replaced the need to travel, it has changed how and when we do so. Peak commuting times have extended, reflecting the increasing ease with which individuals can work remotely or from home rather than commuting to the office. So demand is changing and the trends look set to continue but what is the impact and what strategies do landlords and operators need to be thinking about for their current portfolio? Adapting parking supply to meet changing demand is not just about reducing stock through alternative use. It also means optimizing the efficiency of existing stock through better management, both physical Existing Commitments TOPICAL By Kat Hanna, Associate Director Urban Change Research & Insight, UK PERSPECTIVES 12 TOPICAL