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Parking management training in Tianjin and Qingdao

With the rapid growth of vehicle populations, Chinese cities are facing parking challenges. In the past, cities tended to solve parking problems simply by increasing supply, for example, by converting more curb lanes and sidewalks into parking spaces, by subsidizing the construction of municipal parking facilities and by increasing the number of parking spaces required in new development. In recent years, many cities have started to apply a new parking-planning paradigm to enhance efficient parking management. Parking management was seen as an important TDM (Transportation Demand Management) instrument to mitigate urban traffic congestion and to reduce GHG emissions.

Against this background, from June 19 to 23, the “Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport” project (CLCT) and the “Sustainable Urban Transport Program” (SUTP) jointly organized a parking management training course for the city of Tianjin and the city of Qingdao. Both cities are facing escalating parking problems and a lack of experience at managing parking. Special guest invited to the training course was the world-renowned parking management expert Dr. Paul Barter.

Dr. Barter systematically introduced the basic principles of parking management, on-street parking management and off-street parking management.  “Good on-street parking management helps everyone and enables efficient and fair use of street space without gobbling up valuable urban space for off-street lots”.

On-street parking management goals are pursued using a wide range of tools, including marking where parking is allowed and prohibited, designing parking spaces and associated facilities and signs, limiting access to certain groups, setting time limits, charging fees, enforcing compliance with all of these arrangements and monitoring success. Off-street parking is usually best left to the private sector. However, public sector leadership is essential for on-street parking.

The aim of the parking training was to enhance capacities at local government staff and technical bodies whose work touches on urban parking space management. “Dr. Paul Barter brings us some new concept and thinking on urban parking management, we shall transform parking strategies by enhancing on street parking management first and then consider to develop off-street parking facilities”, the deputy director of Qingdao Urban Planning Bureau concluded at the end of this training.

The project CLCT is funded through the International Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The project SUTP is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)