POLIS and the EPA sign Memorandum of Understanding for innovative parking policies
At the 2023 Annual POLIS Conference in Leuven, Belgium, POLIS and the European Parking Association (EPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster innovation in European and global urban parking policies and practices.
Under this agreement, both organisations are committed to cooperating with local and regional stakeholders to support improved parking regulations, EV charging infrastructure, and sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs), as well as enhancements in the area of new mobility service management, urban logistics, digitalisation, accessibility, and infrastructural readiness for automated and connected mobility, among others.
One of the highlights of the 2023 Annual POLIS Conference in Leuven was undoubtedly the signature of an MoU by POLIS and the EPA. During a Parallel Session on 29 November 2023, POLIS and the EPA joined forces to support innovative parking policies and practices across Europe. Through their MoU, they have shown their continued commitment to:
- Enabling more structural cooperation between parking sector stakeholders through their member networks, working groups, and committees.
- Shaping policy for effective parking management at the EU level.
- Developing joint research, development, and innovation projects of mutual interest to their members.
- Sharing knowledge and promoting innovation in the fields of parking and sustainable urban mobility.
A dynamic duo
POLIS and the EPA are well suited for the tasks outlined in their MoU. As Europe's leading network of cities and regions working on transport innovation, POLIS has over 30 years of experience bringing diverse mobility stakeholders together in favour of a more innovative, sustainable, and inclusive European transport paradigm. Beyond advocating for regional policy changes conducive to sustainable mobility innovation, POLIS works on the ground with its many members and associate members to design and implement mobility projects and interventions that deliver tangible benefits for European cities and regions. With its Working Groups on Parking and Governance and Integration, POLIS is no newcomer to the themes addressed in the MoU.
Like POLIS, the EPA is dedicated to facilitating closer cooperation between its members for the sustainable future of urban mobility. Founded in 1983, the EPA is the umbrella organisation for parking associations in Europe. The 24 national member associations that make up the EPA represent Europe's entire parking sector. Under the auspices of the EPA, public and private bodies to operate and manage on- and off-street parking structures and services can collaborate with associate members acting on behalf of the supply industry for Europe's parking and mobility services and products. By supporting the exchange and mutual support of professional experience among its members, the EPA helps to bridge the gaps between European urban hubs and develop collective responses to some of mobility's most complex and contested dilemmas.
Aim, scope & mechanisms for change-making
POLIS and the EPA aim to pioneer a collaborative approach to parking policy innovation across Europe that will cover a number of themes, including but not limited to:
- parking infrastructure;
- EV charging infrastructure;
- parking for new mobility services;
- parking for urban freight vehicles;
- digitalisation and data standards for innovative parking;
- stricter enforcement of urban parking measures;
- parking accessibility;
- and the readiness of parking infrastructure for automated and connected mobility.
Along these lines, POLIS and the EPA have established several key mechanisms for closer cooperation:
1. Liaison and communication: The Executive Director of EPA and the Secretary-General of POLIS will be responsible for regular communication between the two networks, supported in specific cases by coalitions of working groups and committees from POLIS and the EPA, such as for strategic collaborations. Moreover, the organisations will stimulate joint projects aimed at developing and promoting solutions of common interest, as well as organise joint events to promote knowledge exchange, disseminate project results, and develop an open dialogue with their stakeholders.
2. Priority setting and advocacy: POLIS and the EPA will develop joint recommendations and policy positions addressed to relevant European institutions and lend support to each other's independent positions.
With the 2023 Annual POLIS Conference in the rear view mirror and 2023 coming to a close, the MoU is a source of optimism for the years of cooperation to come. Both networks embrace the MoU as an acknowledgement of their mutual efforts to support innovative urban mobility and as an opportunity to contribute even more to Europe's sustainable transport policies and practices. And they don't have long to wait: next year, both organisations will shining a light on the importance of parking, urban logistics, infrastructure, and new mobility service management when they meet again at the 2024 Annual POLIS Conference in Karlsruhe (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) and at the 2024 EPA Congress.