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A city is a constantly evolving place that adapts to the situations it finds itself in. In order to accommodate to the changes they encounter, each city adopts the solution it deems most appropriate.
It goes without saying that mobility represents a major challenge for cities. Many of them find themselves confronted with a lack of parking spaces either by choice (to regulate the number of cars) or due to the removal of parking lots for external reasons. One solution to this growing need for parking spaces is the pooling of parking lots.
In this article, we explain the concept of parking lots mutualization and introduce concrete situations in which BePark has intervened in order to allow cities and municipalities to solve issues related to parking lots.
A shared parking lot is a private parking put at the disposal of external persons so that they can benefit from parking spaces. Thanks to new technologies that facilitate access to under-utilized private parking lots, we can now open them up to their immediate environment and make parking solutions available to citizens and businesses.
These parking lots enable:
Local residents who want to park in the vicinity of their homes on a daily basis, workers who visit the city on a daily basis, but also visitors passing through the city for a special event. Allowing visitors to park in these parking lots helps to avoid disrupting the daily life or mobility of local residents when a special event takes place. These parking lots will also help to ease traffic flow and relieve congestion in the city, which is good for mobility in general.
BePark is a company offering shared parking lots in many cities. But BePark is also much more than just that. Here’s a short introduction so that you can learn more about us.
BePark was born in 2011 within the paradoxical relation between real estate and mobility, two sectors that are undergoing a revolution. Attentive to the evolution of the market, the company has developed digital solutions allowing companies, cities and real estate players to better manage their parking lots, make them more profitable, and to improve mobility. BePark is a significant player in tomorrow's mobility, and we are implementing sustainable mobility solutions inside parking lots, such as bicycle and cargo bike spaces and charging stations for electric vehicles. Ultimately, our mission is to transform parking lots into true mobility hubs.
Cities face many challenges in terms of mobility, particularly in terms of parking lots.
One can, for example, point to the increasing urbanization. The number of inhabitants is constantly rising. On the other hand, the number of parking spaces remains unchanged and is even tending to decrease. It is therefore necessary to find parking spaces to continue to accommodate new inhabitants while ensuring optimal mobility within the city.
Cities evolve with the times and various changes occur within their borders. It is common for these developments to be at the expense of existing parking spaces. For example, bicycle paths, wider sidewalks or green spaces will emerge to improve urban life. As parking spaces are also a need that cannot be neglected, an alternative to the spaces removed from the roads must be found.
The construction of new parking lots represents a significant cost for cities. Also, the work required for such constructions creates all kinds of nuisances for local residents and road users. Moreover, why invest in a new parking lot when you know that many private parking lots are empty? These private parking lots are the perfect alternative to the construction of new parking lots in order to meet the demand for parking spaces.
Several cities decided to call on BePark to meet the challenges they were facing. Here are the challenges that we have been able to meet in cities and towns, by implementing shared parking lots.
Does your city have several public parking lots in the vicinity of buildings such as a theatre, a swimming pool or a municipal stadium? Are these parking lots also crowded at certain times of the day but almost empty during other times of the day?
BePark is able to optimize the use of these parking lots by installing its access technology and by renting some of the spaces to customers looking for a parking space in the vicinity. These rentals will therefore be a new source of income for the city.
Our collaboration with the Royal Athénée d'Ixelles is a concrete example of how we can help maximize the use of a parking lot and thus generate additional income. Schools are heavily used during the day, but this is not the case during the evening, at night or at weekends. On the basis of this observation, the school decided to make a certain number of parking spaces available to external users during the time slots where the parking lot is under-used. By renting out these parking spaces, the school generates income that it can invest in new projects, but it also allows local residents to benefit from a better parking experience.
Some cities decide to limit the number of on-street parking spaces to regulate mobility and car use. This is the case of the city of Ghent, which wants to reduce the number of vehicles on its streets. In order to achieve this goal, it tries to limit access to cars as much as possible by making certain streets accessible only to pedestrians and bicycles. However, the city wants to offer an alternative to motorists by providing parking spaces close to the city centre, hereby guaranteeing easy access. Ghent has therefore made available on its website a map showing the various private and public parking lots available in the city. The BePark shared parking lots are also listed on the website. As soon as we have new parking lot in Ghent, we contact the relevant authorities so that they can add it to the list of available parking spaces. This makes it easier for people to be aware of what parking spaces are available to them, and increases their occupancy.
Perhaps you find yourself bothered by the disappearance of parking lots in various strategic places in your commune? The removal of large parking lots can cause many mobility problems. Unfortunately, this type of event happens frequently and it is necessary to find a solution so that hundreds of people don't have to drive around in circles looking for a parking space for hours on end.
This is the situation that the city of Namur finds itself in. The mobility department is often solicited by local residents and companies looking for parking spaces. On top of this, the imminent closure of a parking lot with more than 600 spaces in the heart of the city is set to take place. As a result, Namur deals with a real lack of parking spaces.
To alleviate this problem, the city of Namur called on BePark to offer alternative solutions while a new parking lot is being built, which should be completed within the next three years. BePark will therefore do its utmost to find solutions for local residents and workers by directing them towards shared parking lots.
You can improve the mobility of your town or city by helping residents and visitors to easily find a place to park their car. One way to do this is, for example, to list the various shared parking lots that BePark offers on your city/commune's website.
This is what the cities/municipalities of Brussels, Ghent, Liège, Nivelles, Ixelles, Evere, Forest, Molenbeek and others have done. By doing so, they help their visitors to find a parking space. Mobility within the streets of these cities is therefore improved as the number of people looking for a place to park their car decreases.
Are you facing a challenge similar to those discussed in this article? Would you like to offer alternatives to your residents and visitors? Do not hesitate to contact BePark; we will be delighted to take up the challenges you bring forth.