Blog: Dave LeggettParking issues in Beijing

Dave Leggett | 27 July 2011

A report in today's China Daily is a reminder of the overriding importance of being able to park your car when you get to your destination. Sure, you can drive for pleasure or for pose value, but the chances are high that you will also want to use your car to get from A to B and if there's no parking available at B, you will eventually consider better - more 'time efficient' - alternatives. Driving around looking for a parking space or having to pay a big premium to park the motor is no fun (my own central London experience). Cities need transport strategies in order to avoid congestion and to make living with the car work for the population.

At a recent Frost & Sullivan event that considered urban mobility issues, BMW’s 'Director of Project Mobility Services', Dr Bernhard Blattel, described the BMW value proposition with regard to sustainability, stating that the consumer needs to “enjoy their way”, and therefore use a particular service because they like it, not because they are forced to. As such, he said, BMW is focusing on comfort and convenience in developing electric vehicles that satisfy this requirement, as well as removing the barriers between personal and public transport, with innovative car sharing schemes and connectivity.

The future, he said, will need to see a joint effort between both public and private transport in order to develop practical and sustainable solutions. Either side cannot afford to progress individually. Dr Blattel said: “As time runs out…we need to use every lever we have to get towards sustainable transport solutions...the future is more about a joint effort of these two means than having a battle between them”.

BMW also says that the growth of the 'mega-city' across the world will be a defining global societal trend in the coming decades. Finding room for the cars we want to drive will be a growing challenge, alongside making them more environment friendly and perceived as such, especially in urban areas. Places like Beijing are now hitting the buffers after a rapid surge in car ownership. Interesting that some car companies are putting plenty of thought into the connection between purchase of the car and its use.  

Something to ponder next time you are stuck in an urban traffic jam.

Higher parking fees in Beijing lead to less private car use


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