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A Green Solution to Oakland's Housing Crisis

If the city stopped building giant parking garages, it could become a leader in sustainable development — and create more affordable housing in the process.

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While the department hasn't published a proposal yet, Gray said the city is looking to make it easier for new buildings to include less parking — so that in downtown and transit corridors, developers would no longer have to seek special exemptions to do greener and cheaper designs.

And Flynn, director of the planning department, said she recognizes that making it easier for people to park is not the key to building a better Oakland. "Nobody goes to Paris because it has a lot of parking," she said, adding, "When you provide a lot of [parking] and it's cheap, you induce more driving. If we're trying to change lifestyles in terms of transportation choices, we have to decide what's more important to us. Is it just to make sure cars have easy access to parking?"


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