Research Project on Parking in the City




Conny Louen

Leiterin AG "Urbane Verkehrsplanung"


+49 241 80 25201



The RWTH Institute of Urban Transport Planning (ISB), SONAH GmbH, and the City of Aachen have jointly conducted a research project on the subject of inner-city parking. The goal was to better understand urban parking space supply and parking behavior in different districts. The research results are transferable to other cities and contribute to improve parking management.


The ACUP project (Analysis of the Characteristics of Urban Parking) received funding in the amount of almost 100,000 euros from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of their Modernity Fund (mFUND) initiative.

From October 2020 to December 2021, the project created a comprehensive dataset on urban parking. The aim was to better understand parking space supply downtown and parking behavior in different districts. The data on parking space supply was then used to develop a digital parking map. The parking map has a high level of detail and provides information on public, semi-public, and private parking spaces.

The map also differentiates between different types of parking spaces (parallel, perpendicular, and angle parking; marked parking spaces; separated parking areas) and provides information on special characteristics such as time limits, carsharing parking, loading zones, and disabled parking bays.

The data on public parking spaces are made available to all interested users via the Geodata Portal and the Mobility Dashboard of the City of Aachen. For selected districts, real-time data on the current parking situation is available. This data basis was used to develop a typification of districts according to parking usage patterns, which makes it easier to transfer strategies to other districts. The research results should be transferable to other cities and contribute to improve parking management.

“Parking has increasingly come into focus as a research topic in recent years. At ISB, we are concerned with the city and mobility of the future, and to this end, we are developing concepts for efficient utilization and sharing of inner-city space. Reliable data on parking space supply and utilization is of central importance. The ACUP project will provide us with important insights and help us to better understand the processes surrounding stationary traffic within large cities,” says Professor Tobias Kuhnimhof, Head of the Institute of Urban Transport Planning at RWTH Aachen University.

“We are delighted to be able to use the ACUP project to build a digital parking information system while also evaluating a district typology that is to function as an example. The digitalization of parking areas is an essential building block for improving Aachen citizens’ quality of life by simplifying their search for parking spaces. At the same time, we can supplement the ongoing measures in traffic planning with real data”, adds Dr. Michael Pielen, Department of Digitalization of Traffic Systems and Automated Mobility of the City of Aachen.