10 January 2007
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An enhanced mobility and a better and more efficient use of available urban space for parking are the key objectives of OPTIPARK (www.optipark.eu), a European Commission co-funded initiative (under the eTEN Programme), which started in October 2005. During a Workshop held in Brussels on 13 December 2006 at the POLIS premises and chaired by the ERF/IRF Brussels, representatives from the five pilot schemes presented the first results of their OPTIPARK projects and discussed with over 50 participants possible future deployments of the existing OPTIPARK platform.
OPTIPARK seeks to improve the everyday mobility of citizens in the urban environment by offering them the tools to identify and reserve parking spaces before starting the actual journey or whilst on their way. In order to achieve its objective, OPTIPARK will undertake initiatives aimed at:
· optimising urban parking resources,
· deploying innovative parking services,
· combining them with business activities that generate mobility demands.
The Workshop’s participants, representing mostly local authorities from cities such as London, Paris, Brussels, Dublin and Budapest, judged the first validation of results as very positive, with officials from the Amsterdam, Baden, Bologna, Bruges and Madrid trials reporting on their progress and fielding their opinions on possible future developments. Initiatives to search for and book parking spaces in these municipalities have shown the potential of the system and delivered the first remarkable results, ahead of the final validation expected for July 2007. In view of its success, a second Workshop will take place in the second quarter of 2007 and will additionally target the private sector.
In conclusion, advance reservation of parking spaces, coupled with future developments in satellite navigation systems, will enable users to plan all aspects of their journey from the comfort of their home, making optimal use of all available resources and paving the way for a truly efficient mobility. A project involving 14 European partners, OPTIPARK will prepare the market introduction of innovative parking services by assessing and validating the feasibility of its trans-European deployment through market validation studies and pilot trials.
Additional information on OPTIPARK, the Workshops and the pilot schemes can be found on www.optipark.eu