How Parking Affects Our Urban Ecosystem

As the world turns towards sustainability and renewable energy resources, every major industry is looking inward and reviewing its own carbon footprint. The multi-million euro parking industry is no different.

Did you know that 68% of land in cities is taken up by parking spaces? Although a parked car does not cause emissions, contribute to traffic jams, or make noise, it still takes up a considerable amount of urban area. 

The parking industry has a significant impact on the environment, particularly in terms of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Many parking facilities are now implementing green initiatives, such as installing electric vehicle charging stations and using solar power, to reduce their environmental footprint.

We often overlook the detrimental impact that improving our accessibility in urban areas can have on the environment. Constructing new parking spaces, for example, often entails cutting down trees and plants, resulting in a decline in biodiversity. Extensive concrete areas can contribute to water pollution and flooding. So, how can we cater to the parking requirements of modern urban living while also prioritizing eco-friendly practices?

Investing in Renewable Energy Sources

For personal and vehicle safety, car parks need to be well-lit and have controlled access, emergency call points, and CCTV services. All of these factors consume energy. Fortunately, there are many options in the market for renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, and even Kinetic energy! Kinetic energy from vehicles can be captured and converted into electricity. For example, speed bumps can be designed to compress and release as vehicles drive over them, generating electricity.

Although we may be far from seeing kinetic speedbumps in cities just yet, we can already see moves in making our parking structures more environmentally friendly. In fact, as of February 2023, France has introduced a new law that car parks (of 80 spaces or more) are required to have at least 50% of their lots covered in solar canopies. 

Support Electric Vehicle Charging

To facilitate the transition to electric vehicles, it is crucial to provide charging facilities in places where the vehicle remains stationary for extended periods, such as car parks. With companies such as PowerGo, Evocharge, and EV Meter offering end-to-end EV charging services, it’s easier than ever to install and promote EV charging services.

Some companies are currently offering customers rewards for using their EV stations – like supermarket giant Jumbo in The Netherlands and Belgium, which offer savings points that can be used to redeem days out and extra discounts on groceries, subscriptions, and trips. Measures like this help incentivize customers to choose greener options. 

Managing the Parking Process

On first thought, parking your car does not seem like a process-heavy task. However, if you consider the time spent looking for a space, organizing access and payment, merchant validations, and the possibility of pre-paid solutions… suddenly it becomes clear a lot more steps are involved than initially thought. With the right software, drivers can book spaces to leave their cars in advance, pay in advance, or smooth the process of finding available spaces in real-time.

Overall, parking software solutions can benefit us in moving towards a greener world by reducing traffic congestion, minimizing fuel consumption and emissions, and promoting the use of electric vehicles. By streamlining parking management, these solutions also help reduce the need for parking spaces, which in turn reduces the amount of land required for parking lots and preserves natural habitats. Services offered by companies such as HONK, ParkMobile and ParkEngage Inc are just some examples of industry leaders taking charge in bringing ease and sustainability to parking management software. 

These are just 3 ways that we can make our public car spaces more environmentally friendly. Next week we will delve into private car parking and how we can leverage these spaces to contribute to the well-being of our environment, and what companies can help us get there. 


Have your say!

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