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Science of the Total Environment 334 – 335 (2004) 39 – 45 www.elsevier.


Parking, energy consumption and air pollution
Paul G. Ho ¨ glund *
KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Traffic and Transport Planning, Stockholm, Sweden Transforsk-Transearch, Nordplan AB, Stockholm, Sweden Accepted 1 April 2004

Abstract This paper examines the impacts of different ways of parking on environmental effects, mainly vehicle emissions and air pollution. Vehicle energy consumption and the urban air quality at street level, related to location and design of parking establishments, need to be assessed and quantified. In addition, the indoor parking environment needs attention. This paper gives a description of a methodological approach when comparing different parking establishments. The paper also briefly describes a Swedish attempt to create methods and models for assessing and quantifying such problem. The models are the macrolevel model BRAHE, for regional traffic exhaust emission, and the micromodel SimPark, a parking search model attempt combined with emission models. Until now, very limited knowledge exists regarding the various aspects of vehicle parking and environmental effects in the technical field as well as in the social and human behaviour aspects. This requires an interdisciplinary approach to this challenging area for research, development and more directly practically implemented surveys and field studies. In order to illustrate the new evaluation methodology, the paper also contains some results from a pilot study in Stockholm. Given certain assumptions, a study of vehicle emissions from parking in an underground garage compared with kerbside parking has given an emission reduction of about 40% in favour of the parking garage. This study has been done using the models mentioned above. D 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Parking; Environment; Emissions; Air quality; Parking garages; Parking house

1. Introduction 1.1. General problem description Exhaust pollution from parking establishments, parking houses, garages and open area parking, has not until now had a major impact on air quality problems in modern cities and wider urban areas. The total air pollution in urban areas is dominated by
* Tel.: +46-70-5270799; fax: +46-8-7647484. E-mail address: (P.G. Ho ¨ glund). 0048-9697/$ - see front matter D 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.04.028

exhaust emissions from many other sources, such as traffic flow related emissions and emissions from industries and factories. Parking establishments in various forms can, however, create both local and regional air pollution problems, which require another perspective on the air quality aspects in general. The problem solving therefore has to be done on the macrolevel as well as on the microlevel. A Swedish attempt has therefore started to develop a new regional traffic and emission distribution model on the macrolevel and a parking search model attempt combined with emission models on the microlevel.


P.G. Ho ¨ glund / Science of the Total Environment 334 – 335 (2004) 39–45

A model development in this area is a demanding task because of the very broad span between regional effects and problems on the macrolevel down to singular vehicle exhaust emissions related to infrastructure design and other problems on the microlevel. In order to obtain the correct decision-making support for community planners and others interested, both concentrations of detrimental exhaust pollutants in urban street canyons as well as a detailed description of vehicle emissions will be needed. The human behaviour aspects require an interdisciplinary approach to this challenging area for research, development and more directly a creation of a methodology and a comparative model development for use in practically implemented surveys. It will also be necessary to perform field studies for model calibration and validation. In combination with studies of regional and local emissions and concentrations, there will also be a need for more technical studies of the various parking establishments. The lack of parking space in central urban areas creates a demand for parking solutions with heavy concentration of parking spaces on small horizontal areas, but with a larger spread in the vertical direction, e.g., underground parking garages and parking houses in many floor levels. Smaller garages can be naturally ventilated and older, larger establishments can have deficient technical ventilation systems. However also, recently constructed establishments with well-functioning ventilation systems could have problems because of unregulated substances, such as benzene (carcinogenic VOC), which have shown to have significant influence on the air quality both inside and outside the parking establishments. Therefore, calculation models for emissions and concentrations within garages and parking houses will be needed for the correct design of the ventilation systems. 1.2. Additional emissions Parking and parked vehicles give substantial additional emissions of exhaust pollutions to the emissions from the traffic flow, and the amounts are depending on the specific location and design of the parking establishments as such. Additionally, the traffic flow generated by vehicles, searching for free parking space in the area, and the special parking movements

within the parking establishments, give also additional emissions. Depending on different infrastructure design and also the design of the various street canyons as well as the design of the specific parking establishments, there will be different levels of pollutant concentrations in the ambient air. For a detailed survey of different emission situations and different concentration levels, it will be necessary to use a microanalysis approach. Finally, there will also be additional emissions from vehicles because of the evaporation from engines and petrol tanks. Particles from vehicle engine exhaust and also particles from rubber wheels will give an unhealthy indoor microclimate, which in higher concentrations could even be dangerous for people using the establishments. People working in parking establishments must pay special attention to those problems. 1.3. Total overview There are a lot of coinciding factors which will give the final amount of air-polluting concentrations and an increased risk of the exposure for human beings both within parking establishments and in their specific vicinity. It is also necessary to estimate if the amount of emissions related to recently constructed parking establishments will be higher or lower than other accessible parking alternatives. The legitimate wishes for a general mobility, and an accessibility to activities within the urban areas and city centres, make the balance between the reduction of the totally available parking spaces, or an alternative allocation of commercial and business activities to external centres, to a very great problem. General problems of this kind are dealt with in the European Commission cooperation project COST 342, ‘‘Parking Policy Measures and their Effects on Mobility and the Economy’’ (European Commission, 2000). Parking is nowadays an integrated part of city planning and a very relevant factor for traffic planning and traffic management in general. Nevertheless, the environmental issues in the total concept of car parking has not yet been observed in any wider extent, not even in the COST 342 project. It is definitely time to integrate ‘‘Parking and Environment’’ as a significant part in the overall concept of town and city planning.

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The author has tried to introduce this concept within the project work and emphasizes the future importance of this issue. This is especially due to the lack of existing knowledge and facts as base for the decision making process. This kind of problems could be handled by our Swedish models ‘‘TYSK’’ and ‘‘PELLE’’ (Reimers and Nordplan, 2001a). Very limited knowledge exists regarding the various aspects of vehicle parking and environmental effects in the technical field as well as in the social and human behaviour aspects. This requires an interdisciplinary approach to this challenging area for research, development and more directly practically implemented surveys and field studies. This special problem area has until now been given little special scientific attention within the international research community as well as among consulting engineers, urban planners and decisionmaking politicians. The main goal with this paper is to try to give an overview and general picture of the negative as well as the positive environmental effects in the comparison between different parking establishments. In order to get the required overview of the here described problem area, it is essential both to obtain existing data and information as well as to use creative thinking and a use of calculating methods and models for emission and concentration estimations. In addition, other methods such as trip length studies, travel habit surveys and general travel and parking demand modelling could be used. Unfortunately, ordinary network traffic assignment models do not include a micromodel description of the searching traffic for free parking space in parking establishments. This is an area for which requires special attention.

here first compare a parking establishment with kerbside parking, which the new parking establishment is planned to replace. As a first hypothesis, we assume that the additional emissions from the location of a specific new parking establishment will be compensated by less pollution from the area of parking on ground level, i.e., kerbside parking, including the amount of emissions from traffic searching for free parking space. In order to handle this emissions problem on the local microlevel and to test the hypothesis, we have started the development of the SimPark model. Another problem here is the possible change in travel patterns a new specific parking establishment could give. There could be effects both in regional and local level. Whether those effects are negative or positive is impossible to say without studies and considerations in each specific case. For being able to estimate regional emission effects from a new parking establishment, we have started a model development of the BRAHE model (Reimers and Nordplan, 2001b). A very short description of the BRAHE model will follow here. The BRAHE model calculates regional environmental effects, e.g., air pollution, based on data regarding the changes in local parking conditions. The use of the BRAHE model needs a good knowledge of several input factors. This knowledge can be based on statistical data and/or assumptions based on facts and personal experiences. The regional environmental effects, expressed as differences in travelled distances and thus amount of emissions, can be calculated based on certain facts. The interesting knowledge and data to take into consideration is: 

2. Problem structuring 2.1. First hypothesis and model development The magnitude of this total problem area is vast. Therefore, part boundary definitions and part solutions will be needed. It is essential that useful information with sufficient accuracy for decision makers can be obtained within reasonable cost limits. Let us

the time the parking places are used for different types of activities, such as residential parking, parking related to work, visits, delivery of goods or are unused and empty,  the turn around time per day the parking spaces are used in a yearly average,  an average travel distance in km per journey, and  the changes of travelled distances in km per journey. Both of the mentioned model attempts are based on a logical problem structuring and mainly differences


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in human behaviour and choices in certain situations. Different travel times give different travel distances. Certain assumptions of driving behaviour combined with specific emission factors, either related to a steady state speed situation (constant speed) or instantaneous variability, will give different driving patterns in the infrastructure. That will, as a result, give a specific vehicle related total amount of emissions, which can be aggregated for comparisons of different alternatives. It is not possible within the aim of this paper to give a more detailed technical description of the models. 2.2. Logical problem structuring In a first attempt to a logical problem structuring, the following questions could be asked: which the alternative to a new specific parking establishment could be? What alternatives should be compared? Possible alternatives could be as follows: 

and methods for solving part problems, which can as a final result give an aggregated description of the total problem. A specific parking establishment, or parked vehicles in general, are causing additional emissions, i.e., an increased amount of emissions than caused by the general traffic flow. The additional emissions then give additional concentrations of detrimental pollutants in the ambient air. The amount of the increased concentrations is depending on the street canyon design, background concentrations, microclimatologically circumstances etc. Increased concentrations will give increased risk for exposure to human beings within the parking establishment, in the close vicinity or in nearby streets. A first quantifying approach to the total problem overview is thus to be able to quantify the additional emissions for various alternatives. Hopefully, our new model attempt will help in this process.

no parking establishment the parking establishment on an other location  parking on an open parking area at ground level  kerbside parking along the streets. In the decision-making process, whether you should build or not build the specific parking establishment, there must be an access to relevant comparative data and facts. An analysis of the data material should give the advantages and disadvantages and also how those could be quantified and described. You should also ask a general question. What quantitative methods or models, or maybe also possibly qualitative methods, could be used? Do we need a detailed description of alternatives or is it sufficient with less detailed and accurate methodologies? As said in the Introduction, there are no existing ready methods and models covering the total problem scope. This particular field of human behaviour aspects requires an interdisciplinary approach to this challenging area for future research and model development. 2.3. Aggregated information for total overview For part solution analysis, there exists both traffic simulation models with additional emission calculation programmes, deterministic calculation models

3. Problem definition As a first approach, we will here try to define the immediate problems, which will occur when we try to quantify the additional emissions from parking establishments. From the beginning, only an effort of finding quantitative methods for comparative vehicle emissions studies will be discussed. The direct air pollution effects a specific parking establishment will have regarding increased emissions are: 

Additional emissions because of the parking establishment itself. Additional emissions on the parking areas from vehicle movements at lower speeds and lower gears and also accelerations and decelerations. Emissions because of entrances and exits, at ramps etc.  Additional emissions within the nearby street network because of disturbances in the traffic flow when vehicles are entering and leaving the parking establishment. Speed changes cause additional emissions.  Changed emissions because of traffic flow redistribution within the street network in the vicinity. Possible longer driving distances cause additional emissions. Shorter driving distances and shorter

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distances for searching traffic for free parking space can also give less emissions. The parking establishment can attract more traffic, which can increase the traffic intensity on nearby streets. Additional emissions, as mentioned above, can be quantified by traffic simulation models with additional computer models for emission calculations. Additional emissions in a parking establishment, including entrances and exits, ramps etc, can be calculated by means of special calculations methods, which takes into account the singular vehicles additional emissions at lower speeds. In addition, the parked vehicles in open parking areas and kerbside parking along streets cause additional emissions. When arriving to and leaving from a kerbside parking space, the vehicles will cause disturbances in the passing traffic flow and therefore additional emissions. Vehicles parked in open areas and street parking will cause additional emissions because of cold starts, which can be calculated. Reduced cold starts within warm parking houses and garages will positively reduce emissions, which give advantages to concentrated parking establishments. The use of warm garages, and or preheaters for vehicle engines, can significantly reduce or eliminate the additional cold start emissions, sometimes also in a warmer climate and not only in the wintertime. This fact motivates heated parking houses and garages.

nitude of the traffic flow related vehicle emissions, can be calculated for different design alternatives for the nearby infrastructure, entrances, exits, ramps etc. Another problem is to create methods and models for trying to quantify the additional emissions from the open area and kerbside street parking. The first problem can be handled by models and methods, which are used in various earlier studies. The problem with additional emissions from kerbside parked vehicles is more difficult to solve. Until now, we have found very few references to ready existing models for handling the description of search traffic for free parking spaces; therefore, we have, as mentioned above, started developing such a model, the SimPark model (Nordplan, 2000). There are here a lot of factors and parameters to take into consideration, such as singular vehicles driving behaviour etc. A specific parking establishment can also have an influence on the existing surrounding street network. For instance, an establishment with well-placed entrances and exists could be compared with an establishment causing flow problems at the streets in the vicinity. The differences in the amount of emission could then be calculated. Other important aspects are the influence from a specific technical design and outlay of the parking establishment, influences from local parking behaviour and searching preferences, parking time, preferences for specific parking spaces etc.

4. Suggestions for problem handling A first suggestion for problem handling is to try to describe the problem magnitude, i.e., to try to quantify the amount of the actual additional emissions depending on the localisation on specific sites for a new parking establishment. Each specific establishment will have its special influence on the surrounding street network. Depending on the location of entrances and exists, different disturbances will happen in the nearby street network. Those disturbances in the traffic flows will be different for different traffic flow intensities and for different times during the day. The magnitude of the disturbances in the traffic will be estimated by traffic simulation. Traffic flow parameters such as capacity, delay, amount of stopping vehicles, average driving times, queue lengths etc, as well as the mag-

5. Pilot study 5.1. Background and aim for the study The first model developments of the BRAHE regional emission model and the SimPark local emission model were used in a pilot study in Stockholm, Sweden (Nordplan, 2000). The aim of this study was to describe the differences in vehicle emissions from two different ways of parking. The environmental effects, mainly air quality, from the existing kerbside parking in a certain area should be compared with the effects from the establishment of a planned parking garage in the same area. Would it be more or less vehicle emissions after the new parking garage has been built? In Stockholm, the city authorities have a political majority behind a plan of building about 17 new


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parking garages within the central and semi central city area. The Stockholm parking company (Stockholm Parkering AB) therefore asked the consulting company Nordplan AB to make a survey and pilot study regarding this particular localisation problem. As in the discussions in Section 1.1, this is a problem with two different space dimensions, i.e., regional effects and problems on the macrolevel down to singular vehicle exhaust emissions related to infrastructure design and other problems on the microlevel. The first problem approach was to find feasible methods and models for making those proper quantifications. Therefore, a model development was started, giving tools for the emission estimations. 5.2. Results from the pilot study The aim of this paper is not to give a detailed description of any particular model or methodology, but to give a general overview of the air quality aspects within ‘‘Parking and Environment’’. Therefore, the survey results are only given here as an indication of the magnitude of the differences in emission levels, which can be obtained under the given assumptions. The results are site-specific, and it is difficult to generalize at this stage of the model development. Because of those reasons, there are no detailed descriptions given of the studied area or the parking garage. The crucial part of the modelling is the searching behaviour. The direct emission calculations are done with sufficient accuracy for comparative emission calculations. For the specific parking garage studied, the comparisons between parking in the garage and parking at the kerbside in the neighbourhood of the garage is shown in Table 1. The calculations are done for the
Table 1 Differences in emissions of CO, NOx, CO2 and fuel consumption when parking at a given garage compared with kerbside parking for the same amount of cars in a certain area CO (g/vhl) Parking in garage Parking at kerbside Difference in g/vhl Difference in % 4.00 6.70 2.70 40.3 NOx (g/vhl) 0.14 0.25 0.11 44.0 CO2 (g/vhl) 149 267 118 44.2 Fuelcons (g/vhl) 73 130 57 43.3

same amount of cars entering a certain area from the same entering points. They are based on individual vehicle driving patterns related to cars, either searching for free parking spaces in distributed parking alongside the streets (kerbside parking) or driving strait to the entrance of the parking garage. The micromodel methodology is based on specific assumptions regarding the difference in driver behaviour and thus in the studied driving patterns. There are no validation studies done yet of the real driver behaviour in the streets when parking. This is also something, which has to be done in the further model development. 5.3. Conclusion regarding the results The calculation of regional effects on the macrolevel, under given assumptions, did not give any significant differences regarding the emissions from traffic to the area with a parking garage compared with traffic to the area when the cars were parked at kerbside. The results from the model calculations on the microlevel is shown in Table 1. The relative differences are about 40% less emissions for parking in a garage than when kerbside parking. This is result from a specific case study under given specific assumptions. It is also possible to translate those figures to a relation between the amount of cars which could be parked in the area when kerbside parking, compared with the amount of cars parking in the parking garage. With accuracy in the calculated mean value between 10% and 20%, the expressed result would be that 100 parking vehicles in the garage give the same amount of emissions as 50– 70 vehicles parking at kerbside. The result from this first pilot study thus indicates that concentrated parking areas like parking garages and parking houses could be considered as more environmentally friendly than when vehicles are parking at the streets. More studies are required before being able to generalize.

6. Summary and conclusions Summing up what has been discussed above, it is essential as a first step in handling air pollution

The obtained results are from a specific case study in Stockholm under given specific assumptions.

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problems from parking, to find the magnitude of the environmental effects. An assessment should first be on which level the problems should be described. This should include a judgement of which accuracy is needed in the quantitative results. For example, detailed local design elements, such as parking areas, ramps etc, could be calculated by existing deterministic models, developed for testing design and construction aspects and their influences on the total emissions from parking houses and garages. If it will be found that the total problem magnitude regarding emissions will be significant, the next step should be to quantify the local increase in pollutant concentrations. This is a larger problem, both in modelling and practical field measurements. There are, also here, very few studies already done in Europe and the United States, concerning concentrations in street canyons related to parking establishments. Increasing concentrations of detrimental air pollutants could be a problem, both inside buildings and in the streets outside parking houses and garages. In order to get a total overview of what has been done within this paper’s described problem area, an initial international literature survey should be done.

This has not yet been done by the author at the time of writing this paper. Finally, it could be stressed, that environmental issues related to car parking, such as vehicle emissions and air quality matters, should be given a much more significant attention in the future town and city planning process.

European Commission. COST-Transport. COST 342 Homepage. Project description. First information, spring. Parking policy measures and their effects on mobility and the economy; 2000. Nordplan AB. Consultant’s report for Stockholm Parkering AB. [Stockholm, Sweden. February]. Parkeringsgarage, bra eller ˚ ligt fo da ¨ r miljo ¨ n? Patentgaraget i kvarteret Uppfinnaren, Stockholm. (English translation: Parking garages, bad or good for the environ-ment? The Patent Garage in the street block Uppfinnaren, Stockholm); 2000. Reimers RH, Nordplan AB. Calculation models TYSK and PELLE. Alternative localisation of commercial activities and estimation of traffic emissions; 2001a. Stockholm, Sweden, June. Reimers RH, Nordplan AB. Calculation model BRAHE. Regional effects on traffic emissions from localisation of parking establishments; 2001b. Stockholm, Sweden, June.