Climate Change & Car Parking

Climate change continues to be a hot topic (bad puns intentional throughout). The billion-plus cars on the world’s roadways are a substantial target of often heated debates because of the greenhouse gases they produce. What few people realize is that, parking cars and parked cars, have an effect on the environment and thus climate change.

Now, we don’t take sides in the whirlwind of climate change issues. Rather, we simply consider the most basic fact: Disturbing the environment too much is a bad idea. Of course, all of the climate change and other environmental concerns revolve around the question, “What’s too much?” We don’t know the answer, but we have some observations.

All cars must be parked, at some time. The typical car requires at least 1.3 parking spaces with the excess spaces accounting for inefficiencies in the distribution of spaces as well as the sharing of parking spaces. Nonetheless, the result is an astronomical number of parking spaces needed.

When you consider all car parking facilities worldwide such as parking garages, car parks and parking lots, it becomes easier to grasp how they can affect climate change and the environment.

Cars driving into, out of and circling around looking for parking spaces in large parking facilities generate greenhouse gases…lots of them. A kilometer driven inside a parking facility is much more fuel inefficient and produces more greenhouse gas than driving a kilometer at regular, roadway speeds. Consider how many kilometers a billion cars might drive in parking facilities each day. But - there are alternatives.

Even if cars didn’t generate greenhouse gases, most parking facilities require sizeable amounts of electricity. To a more or lesser extent, electric power generation comes into question relative to climate change. Basic outdoor parking lots require a minimum of outdoor lighting. Conventional car parks need even more lighting and may also require elevators and/or large fans for ventilation. Therefore, simply providing parking spaces for a billion cars is a potential issue of climate change. But – there are alternatives.

Large, impermeable areas such as conventional parking garages and parking lots contribute to stormwater runoff problems by preventing the natural absorption of water into the ground. This may increase the deposition of pollutants and sediment into sensitive streams, rivers and bays. On a worldwide scale, all water plays some role in the climate change question. But – there are alternatives.

Yes - there are alternatives to conventional car parking facilities that have far fewer negative effects on climate change. They eliminate the unnecessary driving inside parking facilities and can use less electricity than other indoor parking facilities in many situations. They are much smaller and easier to put underground to minimize or eliminate excessive stormwater runoff.  

The alternatives to conventional car parking are Automated Parking Systems or APS.

When you think about climate change solutions...consider the more friendly car parking alternatives.

Contact us to talk about automated car parking and climate change.