Umeå eNews - June 2019

Parking is more than just parking

The early summer is the absolute highlight of the year, to me anyway, up here in northern Sweden. The fact that Umeå is the city of the birch tree is hard to miss - wherever you look, you see green leaves grow on our beautiful white trees. And the light! For most of the year we live in the dark (when we sometimes can enjoy the fantastic northern lights!) but when the light comes, it comes full on. In June, it is only a couple of hours from sunset until the sun rises again.

But Umeå is more than just the city of birches. We are also a smart city. Please have a look at our new project film. Besides all the smart things we do in Ruggedised, other smart things also happen. Among others, we will be Sweden's first 5G city. Umeå will become a test environment for developing new digital solutions, products and services that provide social benefits and a better everyday life for the residents. Another area where we are front runners in Sweden is with the Green parking pay-off.. Umeå Parkerings AB works every day with every aspect of parking, but we all agree that parking is more than just parking.

Linda Calmarsson, Ruggedised project coordinator at Umeå Parkerings AB (Upab)

Month 32 / 60


Our business model has been finalised and the report is about to be approved.


To understand all the technical solutions that my colleagues in Umeå are working on.

Solution n°U7 – Green Parking Pay-Off


Upab's assignment is to provide well-located and attractive parking facilities, operate parking and parking monitoring. Upab was formed in 1972 after the municipal council adopted a disposition plan for Umeå center which, among other things, aimed at creating an environmentally friendly city center as free from cars as possible. This would be achieved partly with a parking strategy which means that parking to the greatest possible extent takes place in strategically placed parking facilities instead of on streets and open spaces. To achieve as efficient use of future parking facilities as possible through joint utilization, the council stated that the property owners' obligation to arrange parking places in connection with new, additional or remodelling should be done with parking pay-off. Upab therefore plays a central role in the development of a sustainable city with sustainable mobility solutions.

Cars take up a lot of space and space is limited in cities. In growing cities, more and more people will share the same space, especially for the journey to work, as many need mobility at the same time. To be able to meet the growing cities' needs for housing, mobility and space for recreation for all the residents, new solutions are required. To further promote the sustainable solutions so-called green parking pay-off has also been introduced.

What is the Green Parking Pay-Off ?

Parking pay-off means an opportunity for property owners and builders to buy themselves free from the responsibility of building parking within their own property. This responsibility is determined when the building permit is granted and is based on the standards for buildings with different use. Green parking pay-off means a reduction of the parking standard in exchange for increased responsibility for the property owner to achieve a changed travel behaviour.

The purpose is that the proportion of travellers with public transport, pedestrian and bicycle traffic, of residents and those working in the property should increase. This is done by the property owner taking responsibility for the transport needs that the property / business rises through measures other than offering car parking. It should also stimulate a transformation of parking areas in ground level (which are often used for workplace parking) to, for example, buildings, parks or other activities that enrich the city center.

How does Green Parking Pay-Off work ?

With this business model the land owners buy themselves free from the requirement to build parking spaces. Instead, Upab takes the responsibility of providing parking in the area by building co-usage mobility facilities.

Upab reduces the parking standard by 40% if the property owner agrees to improve the building with other innovative solutions which enables more sustainable transport, such as car sharing and well-equipped facilities that favors cycling to and from the property. They must also pay a certain amount to a Mobility Management fund. This fund is then used to work with the behavior of the residents in the area, so that they choose a more sustainable transportation option than owning a car.