Public sector, transport & mobility
Several cities have implemented “Green Car Parks”, using a range of technical solutions.
Who needs to act?
Private-Public partnership: a private operator invests in building the Green Car Park and related infrastructure, and returns from the investment by managing it for 10 years. Public partner (Municipality) may provide the space (land or abandoned building), plan urban mobility to maximize the impact of the new Green Car Park and may be one of the main users of the park.
Who is affected?
All city users (resident population + visitors); enterprises and public institutions may get special agreements.
Municipality identifies an abandoned building or an existing parking lot - not too far from the center - that can be converted in a Green Car Park. Private partner builds a multi-storey car park, covered with photovoltaic roof (to produce green energy) and surrounded by a small green area (building facades covered with plants for shading and reducing heat island effect and enhanced water drainage. Several electric vehicle recharging stations are installed in the park. Municipality adapts mobility, traffic and public transport to support a "Park-and-Ride" scheme, car-sharing and bike-sharing. All data on cost, energy production and consumption are available as open data to anyone, so the idea can be easily improved and replicated.
Overall investment to build the car park and launch the services is quite high. Investments for the parking and infrastructure can be born entirely by the private investor, by public institutions or it can be shared. Public authorities should be one of the first and main users of the park and car sharing services, in order to ensure a reliable revenue to the private investor from the beginning.
Return of investment
Return on the investment in the mid-term. Reduction in infrastructure and vehicles' costs as the technology matures is going to have significant impact in coming years.
Other resources to be used
EU-, local- and national Funds dedicated to RES projects are key to success. Specifically, the project development stage of a Green Car Park may be funded by ELENA – European Local ENergy Assistance, a joint initiative of the European Investment bank and the European Commission, that helps local authorities to prepare energy efficiency or renewable energy projects.
The potential electricity production of a solar roof on top of the Green Car Park should be estimated using a reliable tool, taking into account location, solar radiation available, photovoltaic technology and local shading produced by surrounding buildings or other obstacles. An example of such tool is “PVgis photovoltaic calculator for Europe”, produced by JRC and available online at the following address: PVGIS for Europe
Main steps of implementation
- Identify and involve stakeholders in a participated process to assess needs and barriers
- Feasibility study: identify an appropriate area, check mobility plans, electric infrastructure,
- Project development: technical, financial and legal
- Call for tender to select a private investor
- Executive project and construction of the Green Car Park (including parking, electric vehicle charging facilities and solar electricity generation)
- Adaptation of mobility, traffic and public transport plans to support a "Park-and-Ride" scheme, car-sharing and bike-sharing
- Green car park is operational
Short and mid-term: Reduced number of private cars in central urban areas. Increased use of public transport. Increased used of electric cars and bikes. Reduced environmental and noise pollution. reduced temperatures and improved water management around the parking lot.
Mid and long term: conversion to 100% electric, installing charging stations for each parking place.
Contribution to SEAP & indicators
CO2 reduction. Work in progress
How to integrate in SEAP?
Can be included in a SEAP as an Action to reduce CO2 emissions.
Contribution to SUMP & indicators
Pollutants reduction (NOx, SOx, CO, etc.); enhanced intermodality; reduced number of vehicles in urban areas; improved sustainable accessibility to city centres.
How to integrate in SUMP?
Dedicated measure responding to several objectives measured with the corresponding set of indicators.
Stakeholder involvement in a preliminary phase is a key to success, in order to assess needs and barriers to all aspects of the project, as well as to prevent conflicts in the design phase and maximize the number of future users of the car park. Stakeholders should include all citizens and associations involved in SEAP and SUMP, professionals (engineers and architects) and companies interested in the project development or construction and the DSO (Distribution System Operator, managing the local electric infrastructure).
Project development must be carefully planned and managed, including appropriate expertise (and external support) to tackle all technical, financial and legal issues.