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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, History, Geography, Engineering

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States


YouTube Video

The High Cost of Free Parking

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  • This video explains the history of parking policies in the United States and their impact on the environment. 
  • Students will learn that cities need parking solutions that will allow for more housing and green space. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students will learn that mandatory parking minimums harm the environment.
  • The video shows how sprawling parking lots take up space that could be used for housing.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video begins with an advertisement.


  • Social studies classes could use this video to discuss parking policies that reduce the number of cars in urban areas.
  • Students could research parking management strategies that create more urban green spaces, then design parking solutions for a local area.
  • Other resources on this topic include this interactive map that shows which cities have eliminated some or all of their parking mandates, this text on urban heat islands, and this video on underground bike parking in the Netherlands.
Scientist Notes
The video recommends a suitable parking management approach, "on-street parking," to reduce the high cost of parking and also manage space for buildings, environmental sustainability, and other land use issues. This is suitable and recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS.ETS1.1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
      • HS.ETS1.3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
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