EPOMM e-update June 2015
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Dear reader,

Managing car parking is one of the key ingredients to making a city liveable. A city in which parking is not well regulated and managed has destroyed public spaces: sidewalks and public squares blocked by parked cars, and a high proportion of traffic that is searching for parking. In most European cities, enormous amounts of space and investment are dedicated to parking – and all this parking infrastructure can induce even more car traffic. In this e-update, supported by the EU-project PUSH & PULL, we will explore how this scenario developed and can be changed.


Some aspects of managing on-street-parking and mobility

Republic Square Ljubljana before

Republic Square Ljubljana after restricting parking

Complex parking zones in Vienna, Austria

Before the rise of the automobile in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s, most city streets were the domain of pedestrians and cyclists, along with public transport services, delivery services with coaches and trucks and a relatively small number of cars. Parking was often restricted. This all changed when cars became ubiquitous: on-street parking was allowed on almost every street and on many public squares. The ever-rising demand for parking space led to the construction of more and more parking garages and parking lots. It also became a requirement to build a defined minimum number of car parking spaces when constructing new housing, offices or shops.

Private cars are parked for about 95% of the time, and in that time they require parking space. Until the 1960s, it was the norm that all on-street parking was free. Aside from the issue of parked cars taking away the public space, studies have found that up to 70% of car traffic in city centres can be drivers searching for a free parking spaces (the average is 30%). Residents and visitors could not find a parking space anymore. This was one important factor for introducing parking management.

On-street parking management came in stages:

  • The first step was the restriction of parking time: you could only park for a certain number of hours
  • Next was the introduction of paid parking: you had to pay for parking - during a certain period of the day or the week
  • Then cities started to define parking zones: paid parking or time-restricted parking was no longer limited to only certain streets; it could be made obligatory in whole districts of a city
  • Resident parking introduced the concept that residents had special access to parking in such parking zones (e.g. no time restrictions and more comprehensive pricing such as monthly or annual parking passes)
  • Integrated parking management seeks to use all of the above measures as tools not only for managing parking, but for managing car traffic and even urban mobility in general.

All these measures can lead:

  • to a change in mobility behaviour (because drivers look for alternative transport solutions)
  • to new revenue for the entity collecting parking payments
  • to freeing up urban space for community uses, as on-street parking demand can decrease

Parking management measures thus also became tools for mobility management: introducing parking management at a school, company or hospital can be part of a solution for both managing on-site traffic and generating revenue to finance alternatives to car traffic. Introducing parking management measures is often hugely unpopular, especially for those that lose their privileged access to free parking or their parking space, or for shopkeepers that worry that shoppers won’t come if they can’t find parking. Such fears can be alleviated by mobility management: e.g. through campaigns explaining the benefits and possible sustainable alternatives or through providing better information and better access to sustainable alternatives.


The PUSH & PULL Project

PUSH & PULL is a project that is co-funded within the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union and demonstrates how to cleverly combine “Push” measures (parking management) with “Pull” measures (mobility management).

PUSH & PULL aims to improve mobility through the management of parking space in combination with mobility management. “Push” parking management measures such as the introduction of paid parking, the increase of fees, or the reduction of supply will push drivers to try out more sustainable transport. The income from parking can be earmarked to finance “Pull” measures, such as improving and promoting sustainable alternatives. Thus these measures are pulling car users towards active transport modes, public transport or car sharing.

Once such a mechanism is implemented, there is a permanent availability of funding (budget) and it isn't necessary to get a separate budget every year. Once installed, such an automated system isn’t easily removed. This is called the “core funding mechanism” of PUSH & PULL.

The core funding mechanism is not the only objective of the PUSH & PULL approach. The approach is also a way to deal with the scarcity of urban public space. A high share of urban public space is dominated by parking cars – but for vibrant urban life it can be put to better use.

The main objectives of PUSH & PULL:

  • Save energy through a modal shift from car use to more sustainable modes;
  • Help local economies by encouraging a more rational and managed approach to parking and helping cities to save money by avoiding the costs of construction of additional parking;
  • Build the capacity for ‘followers’ who want to implement a similar system with the knowledge required to help to alleviate parking problems, and build political arguments to support them.

The project includes implementation of parking and mobility management measures in the cities Gent, BE, Nottingham, UK, Iasi and Bacau, RO, Krakow, PL, Örebro, SE, Tarragona, ES and the University of Ljubljana, SE. All ‘implementers’ will set up the core funding mechanism to use money gained from parking to finance sustainable mobility.

Thus the full title of Push& Pull is “Parking management and incentives as successful and proven strategies for energy-efficient urban transport”.


16 Good Reasons for Parking Management

One of the products of PUSH & PULL is a brochure on 16 Good Reasons for Parking Management. This brochure provides the knowledge required to build sound, political arguments to help to alleviate parking problems and in so doing to support sustainable transport. It should strengthen the position of politicians, decision makers and information multipliers such as journalists in the process of taking what may be, at first glance, unpopular, but in fact rational and sustainable decisions to manage on- and off-street parking. The arguments are wide-ranging: how to deal with scarcity of urban space, how to improve access and the quality of life, how to increase safety, how to support the local economy, how to reduce ‘parking search’ traffic, how to turn initial resistance into support, why to set standards, etc.

The format of the 16 Good Reasons includes facts and figures accompanied with pictures or diagrams and an explanatory text that it is easily understood and quickly summarises the key arguments. For more complex issues, links to more detailed descriptions are provided. The brochure is available for download in 17 languages.



This catalogue of case studies for mobility management from the PUSH & PULL project gives a deeper insight than other case study collections found on Eltis. The selection of 14 mobility management measures for this catalogue was based on a number of criteria such as “ease of implementation”, “acceptability” or “effectiveness” that were judged to be important for maximising the usefulness, so that interested ‘implementers’ could replicate these measures.

The full catalogue of case studies for mobility management can be downloaded as a single document but also as individual measures on this part of the project website.


The CATALOGUE on CASE STUDIES for Parking Management

This catalogue contains measures on the city level but also on the site level (workplaces / universities / hospitals) and on a national level. The description includes objectives, steps for implementation, potential barriers and how they have been overcome, costs and impacts. These 24 best practice examples were selected and prepared as case studies using criteria such as “Implementation status”, “Innovative approach” or “Availability of evaluation data or documentation”.

The full catalogue of case studies for parking management can be downloaded as a single document but also as individual case studies on this part of the PUSH & PULL website.



Parking management is arguably the most important tool for mobility management in land use planning. On the one hand, on-street parking can be limited and adequately priced. On the other hand, minimum parking requirements in the building permit process can be replaced by maximum parking allowances. Thus future users of the building do not automatically turn to car use. Moreover, part of the money that developers save for costly parking infrastructure (underground garages can have construction costs of well over €30,000 per space) can be put to use for alternative solutions, as is happening in the newly constructed city quarters in Vienna (Aspern Seestadt or here an exemplary project near the new Central railway station). Find more information in the e-update on MM and land use planning or use MaxLupo.



PUSH & PULL will carry out training sessions in 16 European Countries starting in November 2015. The purpose of these national training events will be to train city authorities and mobility experts, who are interested in, or already working on, parking management in cities. The training will include using part of the parking revenue to foster sustainable mobility, thus cleverly combining push and pull measures. The training event will be free of charge and will contain:

  • an introduction to the management of parking space and mobility management measures,
  • a session explaining the core funding mechanism of PUSH & PULL
  • participatory training to learn how to design and implement this mechanism in one’s own city (case studies, role plays and arguments to gain acceptance)
  • country-specific topics on parking.

The trainings will be organised in close co-operation with the EPOMM member countries’ representatives as well as with the European Parking Association and its national partners. Details and registration will be provided at the PUSH & PULL website from autumn 2015 onward.

Join the the 17th European Parking Association Congress in Berlin from 23-25 September 2015 – see details below.




Upcoming events

  • 17th European Parking Association Congress
    23-25 September 2015 – Berlin
    Website, registration, programme
  • European Mobility Week (EMW)
    16-22 September in almost all European Countries and beyond
    Find out about activities in your country by clicking “National Websites” on the EMW-homepage

For more events, please visit the EPOMM Calendar.

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