Sustainable mobility starts with good parking management

Kids going to school

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

Despite research demonstrating that good parking management is beneficial to delivering sustainable urban mobility, it is still one of the most underdeveloped parts of many SUMPs and related policies.

Innovative and thoughtful parking policies reduce traffic congestion, improve the safety and liveability of cities, and – seemingly paradoxically – support transitions towards increasingly car-free lifestyles.

Over past few months, the cities involved in Park4SUMP have undergone so-called “ParkPAD tests” using the PARKPAD tool. This audit process, chaired by a trained auditor, helps cities review parking policies, achieve consensus on improvements, and develop an action plan tailored to their SUMPs.

It also involves several different stakeholders meeting with Park4SUMP technical experts to build a PARKPAD Action Plan, which envisages feasible, accepted parking measures. The tool has now been piloted in all 16 Park4SUMP cities.

With this as a basis, the 16 cities are now taking further steps towards a sustainable parking policy. This includes both the selection of a national coordinator and a panel comprising local politicians; civil servants from different municipal departments (such as mobility and tourism); civil society stakeholders (like citizens' representatives and mobility organisations); and local businesses.

They are also completing the PARKPAD survey, which consists of 14 questions about parking policy, operations and enforcement; these are scored according to four different quality levels. Its results are analysed in order to understand the differences and commonalities between the three main stakeholder groups - politicians, civil servants, and civil society.

For the process to succeed, consensus between these groups is essential. Indeed, differences in opinion need to be reconciled for there to be final agreement on citywide parking policy.

Cities are now developing measures and their priorities across all aspects of parking (policy and operation). This ranges from extending paid parking areas to enforcement, dealing with standards and integration into a SUMP.

Finally, each city is completing the PARKPAD audit report, which lists 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.

Learn more about Park4SUMP on its website and download a Practitioner Briefing that explains how parking policies can become more strategic, effective and sustainable if implemented within SUMPs.

Author: Pasquale Cancellara

European Mobility Week
Smart Cities Marketplace
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