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Publication Information

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Title: Sacramento's parking lot shading ordinance: environmental and economic costs of compliance

Author: McPherson, E.G.;

Date: 2001

Source: Landscape and Urban Planning. 57: 105-123

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: A survey of 15 Sacramento parking lots and computer modeling were used to evaluate parking capacity and compliance with the 1983 ordinance requiring 50% shade of paved areas (PA) 15 years after development. There were 6% more parking spaces than required by ordinance, and 36% were vacant during peak use periods. Current shade was 14% with 44% of this amount provided by covered parking. Shade was projected to increase to 27% (95% CI 24–37%) when all lots in the sample were 15-year-old. Annual benefits associated with the corresponding level of tree shade were estimated to be US$ 1.8 million (CI US$ 1.5–2.6 million) annually citywide, or US$ 2.2 million less than benefits from 50% shade (CI US$ 1.4–2.5 million). The cost of replacing dying trees and addressing other health issues was US$ 1.1 million. Planting 116,000 trees needed to achieve 50% shade was estimated to cost approximately US$ 20 million. Strategies for revising parking ordinances to enhance their effectiveness are presented. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

Keywords: planning, tree shade, natural resource valuation

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



McPherson, E.G. 2001. Sacramento's parking lot shading ordinance: environmental and economic costs of compliance. Landscape and Urban Planning. 57: 105-123.


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