Analysis of the Characteristics of Urban Parking (ACUP)



Location of the resident parking areas within Aachen Copyright: © Aachen city administration 2021, Köln district government 2021 Location of the resident parking areas within Aachen

tationary traffic has an impact on the cityscape, especially in urban areas. It competes with other uses of public space as it results in high space consumption. The available parking space is limited and different demands and usage requirements are placed on it. A major preposition for developing a goal-oriented strategy for parking management is the availability of information about existing parking space and habitual usage patterns.



For the creation of an adequate map basis, the available parking space had to be captured. For this purpose, existing data about the resident parking areas of Aachen were supplemented and updated by means of a survey and estimations. The examination of public and semi-public parking spaces was conducted based on cadastral data as well as aerial images and local inspections. For the assessment of private parking spaces, an estimation method will be conceived. The data foundation for this method are structural data which are validated through surveys.

  Mapping of public parking spaces via GIS Copyright: © Köln district government 2021 Mapping of public parking spaces via GIS

For two example districts, detailed data about the number of parking maneuvers and about parking durations have been collected. This allows conclusions regarding the demands of the different user groups. Usage patterns include residential parking, delivery traffic and short term stops for shopping. In the two districts, the parking situation is automatically monitored in real time by video-based sensors. After the project is finished, a parking map will be accessible for the public via the geographical data portal of the city of Aachen. The real time data in the regarded districts will also be available through an online dashboard.

The collected information will also be used to work out a parking space-related district-typification. In addition to the acquired parking data, structural data are consulted in this process. Relevant characteristics for the estimation of available parking space have been determined and specified with regard to the city of Aachen. The employed methods are data analysis and literature research. Similar zones are cumulated and categorized into parking-related district types. This categorization can also be applied to other study areas.

The results obtained from ACUP serve as a basis for a planned subsequent project which addresses a digital parking management 4.0.



  • Creation of a map basis outlining the resident parking areas of Aachen including public and semi-public parking spaces
  • Estimation of private parking spaces within the study area
  • Development of a parking space-related district-typification which can also be applied to other study areas
  • Gathering of real time data and aggregated data about parking space occupancy and parking duration in two example districts
  • Provision of real time occupancy data for the public
  • Creating the prerequisites for a subsequent project which addresses a digital parking management 4.0

Project consortium

The project is coordinated by the Institute of Urban and Transport Planning (ISB) at RWTH Aachen University. The ISB was also responsible for conception and conduction of the parking space survey within the city of Aachen as well as for the development of a parking space-related district-typification. As an industry partner, the SONAH GmbH is involved in the project. The company, which was founded in 2016 by three former RWTH-students, performed the installation of 41 video-based sensors that detect the occupancy of parking spaces in two selected example districts. The area covered by the sensors covers approximately 650 parking spaces. The city of Aachen is also part of the project. They deliver necessary initial data and, together with SONAH, devise a solution for making the generated real time parking space occupancy data publicly available online.

Chair and Institute of Urban Transport Planning (ISB), RWTH Aachen University [coordinator of the collaboration]
SONAH GmbH, Aachen
City of Aachen, Department III Planning, Construction and Mobility


Project management at the ISB

Dr.-Ing. Conny Louen



Laura Föhrenbach M. Sc.
Dipl.-Ing. Ingmar Seitz


Funding authority

Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BmVI) Copyright: © BmVI

Project period

10.2020 - 12.2021


Press review

BMVI - Analyse der Merkmale des städtischen Parkens - ACUP
RWHT Aachen - Pressemitteilungen - Forschungsprojekt zum Parken in der Stadt
WDR Nachrichten - RWTH und Stadt Aachen starten Park-Projekt
BRF - Forschungsprojekt: RWTH und Stadt Aachen wollen Parkraum besser planen helfen