The Role of Parking Control in Urban Planning

There are many European cities that have made major changes in their approach to parking policies in urban settings. Unfortunately, living in a society that is so dependent on cars means that much of our free land is used for car parking. Despite regular construction to build new roads and car parks, traffic congestion has still increased. It is because of this that parking has become one of the key aspects of city planning because of how it affects how people navigate cities and their relationship with public spaces.

Private land used for parking is necessary, but it doesn’t give back a lot in terms of multifunctionality or aesthetics. A city that sees the construction of too many car parks leads to flaws in the planning and can lead to dispersed development and increased travel distance. Planning, design and management of car parks are a vital way for any smart city that wants to improve its livability and walkability of their city.

How parking planning has changed

Parking planning used to primarily focus on personal vehicle use, however, in modern cities, travel is multimodal. This means that parking planning has evolved to a newer model that best reflects our current concerns about land use, quality of life and sustainability. Modern parking planning features a more holistic approach as it isn’t sustainable to construct more car parks without dealing with problems such as supply-demand imbalances and underutilisation of existing parking spaces.

New parking plots and parking enforcement should focus on smart solutions for management and pricing and more efficient and effective regulations as well as promoting public transport and alternative modes of travelling.

How European city parking differs

Here are examples of how some European cities have found solutions to the parking problems in their cities.


The Dutch government follows rigid EU regulations concerning air quality. Around 40% of air pollution in Amsterdam is caused by 10% of cars and the city has adapted by working towards dismantling car-centric policies. Paid parking has led to a 20% reduction in traffic congestion within the city.

Parking permit management offers drivers three options; apply for a permit, buy a parking space or rent a space in a car park. The Netherlands has begun reclaiming public spaces by converting dreary, polluted areas into play streets for children, pedestrians and cyclists.


In this Danish city, the city promotes alternatives to car ownership, reclamation of public spades and reducing carbon emissions. With steep parking rates and transforming on-street parking spaces into bike lanes and pedestrian areas.

Parking Enforcement from Park Direct UK Ltd

In cities that already have minimal parking options, it’s important to enforce parking fees and permits. At Park Direct UK Ltd, we can help you with your parking control and parking permit management. We aim to take the stress off of you so that you can ensure your parking areas are used by the right people. To learn more, visit our website.

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