How Parking Affects Our Urban Ecosystem - Part II

urban eco systems

Last week we looked at 3 ways that we can make our public car spaces more environmentally friendly, exploring topics like renewable energy resources, managing the parking process with the latest parking and payment software, and supporting EV charging.

This week we will look at private car park spaces, the impact they have on our environment, and the various strategies we can take to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainability.

The ownership structure of car parks can vary depending on the location. In many urban areas, car parks are commonly privately owned and operated by companies or individuals. These private car parks may be standalone facilities or part of larger developments such as shopping centers, stadiums, cinemas, office buildings, or residential complexes. There is little data to give exact figures, but sources such as the Scope of Parking in Europe, a report conducted by the European Parking Association, indicate that there are a whopping 30m+ off-street spaces privately owned. This puts a lot of responsibility on private car park owners to make changes to better contribute to the environmental health of our urban spaces. 

Building Materials

Constructing new car parks, or renovating existing ones, offers an opportunity to replace older materials with more sustainable alternatives. Structural steel, reclaimed wood, bamboo, and reinforced concrete can be used in conjunction with installing green roofs and walls. Adding better insulated greener materials can help enhance air quality, help convert CO2 emissions into healthy oxygen again, reduce heat island effect, and of course, look better aesthetically!

eco materials are one of the best ways to make our parking spaces more eco friendly

Companies like Ballast Nedam are working together with municipalities to create more sustainable parking areas that contribute positively towards biodiversity and generate net energy instead of using it. A trend we see continuing with Astron Mobility, who earlier this year completed a new parking garage in Třinec, Czech Republic. The garage has a LMR600 roof system for a photovoltaic roof installation that produces renewable electrical energy for a positive energy infrastructure.

Using recycled and renewable building materials reduces the demand for virgin resources and decreases the environmental impact associated with manufacturing new materials. 

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