Smart Parking Solutions to Free Up Open Space| April 2022
Allocation of land for car parking facilities can be a dilemma in developed urban areas where space is at a premium and where pedestrian first principles are being pursued to ensure the ground level public realm is available for public enjoyment. The Hong Kong Government has adopted a “single site, multiple use” concept in the planning of development sites to optimise and maximise development potential. The introduction of SMART car parking facilities together with innovative land use planning strategies, for example Automated Parking Systems (“APS” – also known as intelligent or mechanized parking systems) and co-location of car parking facilities underneath urban parks and recreational spaces is one measure to optimize land use efficiency without compromising the original planning intention of zoned open spaces.
With the application of SMART technology, new car parks can enhance the user experience and promote urban sustainability by indicating the number of available parking spaces on apps and signboards thus eliminating the need and time to search for parking spaces. Leveraging intelligent and mechanized systems, APS can prioritize user convenience as vehicles are automatically parked and retrieved.
Furthermore, electric vehicle (“EV”) charging facilities are being provided as far as practical as part of the Hong Kong Government’s initiative to attain zero vehicular emissions before 2050 so as to shape a more environmentally sustainable future.
TOWNLAND has supported the Hong Kong Government to realise such initiatives under its policy on the provision of car parking spaces. As part of securing the necessary planning permissions, TOWNLAND has ensured that the integration of car parks underneath open spaces will not affect the quality of the open space in terms of safety, emissions or recreational provision. Practical and innovative planning and land use solutions allow TOWNLAND to continue its efforts to improve the urban environment while meeting changing land use requirements for different users.