Tag Archives: parking

Hamburg Parking Policies for New Land Development

Parking Requirements are set by the City of Hamburg since it is also the state.  There is a ratio for number of cars spaces and bike spaces  for dozens of land use types, (no requirement for  motorcycles).  The  parking requirements are  typically based on building floor area, but for some land uses, it is based on # units or number of seats. The parking ordinance also specifies the  % of this amount that is for the  “residents or employees “ or the visitors of the land use.  The permitted variations to the requirements set forth in the table are:

  1. In the “city center”, most uses are reduced to 25% exactly; no more no less can be provided (this does not apply to residential or hotels). There used to be three tiers of reduced parking but it was  discontinued about 7 years ago as it was difficult to administer.
  2. Residential parking can be reduced or eliminated if four conditions are present:
  • The building has at least 30 units
  • The residents sign a contract not to own a car (or it’s in their lease)
  • The building must be at a U bahn or S bahn station
  • Other concepts are incorporated to reduce need for car such exceptional bike parking, car sharing, no specific requirements, but there must have a strategy of some kind.

3. For office commercial sites, the number of parking spaces can be reduced on a sliding scale if at least 50% of employees are given a HVV transit pass; reduction begins at 5%,  and increases to 50 % if 90% of employees are given a pass.

4. For new theatres, if they have a contract with HVV that the ticket for the event also is valid on all public transportation to and from the event, they can reduce parking 50%.  There is also some sort of deal with existing theatres and but not quite sure what it is. Up to 50 % of new required parking can be shared with another nearby land use if the peak time periods do not overlap , for example an office and a theatre;  new rules will increase this to 80% .


  1. If there is no space for the required parking on the parcel or it is difficult to go underground due to the high water table in Hamburg, it is permitted to build parking up to 300 meters away, this will be increased to 500 meters.
  2. The developer can also contract with an existing public parking garage so that the spaces needed are permanently leased from the garage as part of the parking for this building.
  3. If the required parking is not provided or cannot be provided, they pay the city 10000 euro  per space in the city center and 6000 outside the city center.
  4. Finally if developer calculates that their project  won’t generate as much parking demand as the standards require, they may be allowed to have Stundung,  a temporary reprieve or delay to see if that really is the case. In five years, if they for example only have 20 employees for the business and 40 spaces were required, they do not have to provide the full amount. If however, they cannot verify their assumptions, then they need to  build it or they  have to pay as described  above.

Thanks to  Thorsten Gierenz, City of Hamburg, for explaining all this to me, any errors are my own. Thanks also to Arno Plentz, City of Hamburg for arranging this and other meetings while I was in Hamburg, a free and hanseatic city.

Street Parking – Torino, Genova and Milano

Before 1989, Italian law did not allow charges for parking unless it was “custodito”, i.e. there was a parking attendant. This applied to street parking as well, and essentially resulted in free on-street parking. Although cities could and did implement time limits, there was not very strict enforcement, since it was usually a low priority of local police departments. By the 1980’s  city leaders and  urban planners realized a  change was needed and in 1989 the government  delegated the authority to regulate parking charges to the cities.

In 1994, Torino implemented its parking program, which included the designation of blue zones where parking would cost a fee, and assigning the management of the  street parking program to the same agency that operated the public transportation service, (then AMT, now the GTT).   It is based on the principle of charging more for street parking the closer the street is to the city center and is described in post link here.  The city used the generated revenue to not only pay for the striping and parking machines but also to build underground parking garages. Today, there are 55,000 paid spaces, 7200 of which are underground. Currently the revenues are €25 million per year.

Milano and Genova also have blue zones  but the three cities vary in how residential parking  is accommodated with respect to these blue zones.

Torino- Torino’s blue zones  is essentially the center core of the city, about 1.5 mile in diameter.  It is available for any member of the public and also residents with permits.  The difference is that residents pay for the permit but  __??

This system benefits the nonresidents since there are more spots available for them to park in.

Torino uses Yellow pavement striping  for designating disabled parking spaces, bus stops and taxi zones.



MIlano- Milano has also divided its street parking into blue and yellow zones but with different meanings. Only residents with permits can park in the yellow zones. All others, i.e. vsitors, workers, shoppers, etc.  must park in the blue zones. This system benefits the residents since they do not have to share their spaces with non residents. They pay the same or no?


Genova Street Parking Sign

Genova – Genova has more acute shortage of land, exemplified by many very narrow streets and thus has far less onstreet parking to begin with compared to Torino and Milano. Their approach was to designate blue zones in the most congested locations of the city, the centro storico and  a few other locations, and only residents and people who work in the vicinity can park there. They need to display a permit and pay the parking fee  if they park during the hours the fee applies.  If you are not are resident or work, for example you are visiting someone who lives there or want to shop or go to a restaurant, your options are to arrive without a car or pay for parking at a private parking facility (called a parcheggio rotazione- since these parking spaces are not reserned but turnover frequently).

Not sure how motorcyles are accommodated, in this situation but judging from the mass quantities of motorcycles and scooters, I would guess they park for free or less.

I would like to thank  Prof. Franco Corsico,  Arch. Federica Alcozar and  Prof. Paolo Rigante of Milano for help in describing the policies of Torino, Genova and Milano, respectively.

Torino Parking & Parking Fees

Existing Public Parking

The GTT operates 50,000 parking spaces in 25 parking garages as well as all of the on-street parking. There are about seven other garages not managed by GTT which provide public parking.

All on-street parking in the central part of the city is controlled; areas that are open for public parking

are marked by blue rectangles while yellow means a restriction of some kind such as bus stop, handicapped parking or taxi.  Parking on-street outside of this  large area is free  and the roadway has no markings.  Where parking spaces are marked blue, a sign  indicates the cost and the time for which you must pay and the time limit, if any.  Fees vary from E 0.65 per hour to E 2.0 per hour and fees are higher the closer to the centro historico and in the ZTL. Residential parking permits are available for those who live surrounded by Blue Zoned on-street parking.

On-street Parking Pricing-Torino

On-street Parking Pricing-Torino

Parking passes can also be bought on a weekly and monthly basis.

All? or most of the parking garages are underground, these cost  E ____ per hour to ___ per hour.  Some parking garages are subscription only while the others are first-come first-served. Not sure who gets to subscribe. There are some tiny surface parking lots tucked in here and there, that also seem to be a combination of free and paid, but these are located outside the historic city center.

GTT and Torino have provided some park and ride lots at its mew metro stations but they haven’t caught on since the city is so small, people who choose to drive apparently will just drive all the way into town.

New payment system: Torino  is the first big Italian city to try a new system that uses cell phones to pay for parking. The following is from the city website, (as translated by me, so don’t quote me).

It is not  necessary to decide before how long to park; vouchers and  tickets are not used

In Turin it is now  possible  to pay for parking  in the  blue zone with a telephone call or with a simple sms.  A technologically advanced   transmits to  the parking- card with the cell phone –  facilitating the parking opertaions  to the all users.  The main advantage of the Telepark (the name of the system) is the fact that it is not  necessary to decide how long you want to park beforehand. Therefore you avoid:

* To pay for time that you do not use;

* Getting parkig tickets for expired time;

* Having to find the parking machine to buy a ticker and needing change or small monety to buy the ticker, or alternativley, buying the ticker in advance.

Turin is the first large town   in Italy to adopt this system of payment of the parking.  The Telepark will be valid for all the 55,000 spaces in the blue zones, subdivided into the  five subareas (A,B,C,D,E) with different  fees.

The mechanism is the use of the “parking card”.  The first step consists in obtaining the  so-called “kit di prova” at a  price of 2.5 euro, through which one can test the service (the cost is therefore entirely spendable in parking).  In the kit in included a card with the ID code that always must be left  visible through the windshield of  the car.

Parking Requirements for New Development

All new development must provide a minimum amount of parking and it is divided into private  and public. Private parking spaces are for the use of that particular development, e.g.  residents or office workers and is typically underground.  Public spaces are given to the city to manage along with all the other parking spaces they manage.  The city would then decide what fee if any is charged to the public. The public parking is to accommodate the visitor type uses to the project site; including shoppers to the commercial areas, visitors to the residents of the building, etc.

The federal government establishes a minimum rate for land uses, regions are allowed to increase this ie establish new minimum , and cities are also permitted to increase the rate. The parking rates in Torino have not changed since 1977, and are essentially the region of Piemonte’s rates.

These parking ratios are coupled with the law that mandates “public open space”, however the public open space is also strictly defined into 4 categories, one of which is “public parking”.

Sample parking ratios are: