Innovation That Matters

Green spaces | Photo source Pexels

Street parking replaced with personal green spaces


A pilot project in The Netherlands asks residents to voluntarily swap their on-street parking permit in exchange for personalized green spaces.

A new project in The Hague offers residents free lot parking rather than on-street parking. The freed-up street space is still for use by residents’, albeit with a different purpose. Citizens willing to forego on-street parking may turn their space into whatever they like. The project is being tested on six streets in the council’s westerly suburb of Segbroek and will run for six months. Particularly surprisingly given The Netherlands’ reputation for green transport, the project has been met with vociferous complaints. The leader of the scheme reminds residents that it is voluntary. The goal of the project is to critically examine the world’s reliance on cars while encouraging use of public transport.

Some residents have already removed their cars and started to green their spaces. Others who are supportive of the plan are mulling what to do with the additional room near their homes. Despite the initial opposition to the project, the organizer believes that many additional residents will eventually take part. Research appears to show that the majority of cars around the world are parked more than they are used. Which is exactly what this project hopes to show while also greening the city.

Mobile technology makes transport sharing services around the world possible. New products and services are viable options for long-term city dwellers keen to ditch their dependence on cars. In Spain, an intra-company carpool app links all company vehicles. Employees register as either a driver or rider and send alerts to colleagues before each trip. In the United States, a new ridesharing platform links riders with drivers via their online social network connections. Users take charge of their travel experience, deciding who to share a ride with, what rate to pay and how to direct a driver to the pick-up point. How else could car storage and use be redesigned for more sustainable cities?



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