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Sustainable mobility starts with parking

Posted on: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 16:14

The CIVITAS Park4SUMP project is working with cities to integrate innovative parking management solutions into SUMPs to improve urban mobility and make cities more liveable.

Despite research that demonstrates that good parking management is beneficial to delivering sustainable urban mobility in our cities, it is still one of the most underdeveloped parts of many Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) and related policies. Innovative and thoughtful parking policies reduce traffic congestion, improve the safety and liveability of cities, and – paradoxically – even support transitions towards increasingly car-free lifestyles.

Over past few months, the cities involved in the Park4SUMP project have been actively undergoing so-called “ParkPAD tests” using the PARKPAD tool. This is an audit process chaired by a trained auditor that helps cities review parking policies, achieve consensus on improvements, and develop an action plan that fits cities’ SUMPs. This process involves several different stakeholders meeting with Park4SUMP technical experts in order to build a PARKPAD Action Plan that envisages feasible, accepted parking measures. The PARKPAD tool has now been piloted in all 16 Park4SUMP cities.

All cities are in the process of completing several steps including:

  • The selection of a national coordinator along with a panel that comprises a group of local politicians, civil servants from different local departments (mobility, economy, environment, tourism etc.) and civil society stakeholders (retail sector, representatives of citizens, mobility organisations, etc.)
  • The PARKPAD survey which is made of 14 questions about parking policy, operations, and enforcement, scored according to four different quality levels.
  • The analysis of the PARKPAD survey results in order to understand the differences and points in common between the three different stakeholder groups (politicians, civil servants, civil society)
  • The management of a consensus between the three groups of stakeholders (for instance, reconciling differences in opinion to lead to a final consensus on the city level in terms of implementing parking policies)
  • The development of measures and their priorities across all aspects of parking (policy and operation) starting from extension of paid parking areas to enforcement, dealing with standards and integration into a SUMP.
  • The PARKPAD audit report, which lists the conclusions and actions for improving parking policy and operations.

The project is structured such that both leading and follower cities can benefit from each other’s work through knowledge sharing and exchanging best practice examples.

To learn more about the project, visit its website and download the Practitioner Briefing document that explains how parking policies can become more strategic, effective and sustainable if implemented within SUMPs.

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