August 03 2021 |Written By Morgan Walker

Conventional parking structures are one of sustainability’s greatest challenges due to their inefficiency as they take up a lot of land and among the least occupied buildings at any single moment.

Questions are surrounding conventional parking structure’s land use and emissions of greenhouse gasses. The implementation of an automated parking system (APS) could be the key to sustainable parking.

Land Use Efficiency

Allowing for the same amount of parking spaces (or even more), an APS can be built in a smaller footprint by eliminating the additional space that is needed for ramp access, drive aisles, height clearances, stairs, and elevator lobbies. Although less space is required, automated parking systems can generally fit 2-3 times the number of cars compared to conventional parking garages of the same size; this is critical for densely populated urban areas where land is at a premium.

Automated parking systems can also be constructed in tight spaces which would typically be unfit for a conventional parking garage, allowing for more efficient urban land use.

City green spaces improve surrounding property values, but they also actively help improve air quality in the urban environment.

Structures such as buildings, roads, and parking garages absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes such as forests and bodies of water. Urban areas have a high concentration of these structures with limited greenery, leading to “islands” of high temperatures relative to outlying areas. The reduced size of APS minimizes the heat island effect with their smaller surface area and efficient use of space. They can also be built underground to eliminate heat islands to allow for green spaces above such as playgrounds, parks, and public plazas.

Reduced Emissions

Anyone who has driven through a public parking garage knows how time-consuming and difficult it can be to find an open parking space. Driving up floor after floor seeking a vacant spot or the mirage of someone pulling out of a space only to find out it is too small for your vehicle is not only frustrating, but also leaves your vehicle running for a longer period of time, emitting toxic fumes into the air.

The simple act of having your vehicle turned off while storing it in its designated parking spot in an automated garage significantly reduces both air and noise pollution. Studies have shown a noticeable increase in the levels of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions the slower a vehicle moves; however, with an APS, no fumes are emitted from drivers looking for parking spots or idling while waiting. While conventional urban parking structures require navigating through winding aisles, an automated parking system can reduce the frustration by dropping off their vehicles into a well-lit transfer cabin.

With the world’s population growing at a rate of around 83 million people per year, it is essential to start thinking of opportunities to alleviate some of the stress in densely populated areas. There may not be a single answer on how to save the environment, but an automated parking system could be a step in the right direction.

If you’re considering an automated parking system, contact us and we will be happy to guide you to a more sustainable way of parking.