Private traffic together with city freight distribution are well known factors of energy consumption and environmental degradation in European urban centres. Recent studies (e.g. EC Green Paper Towards a new culture for Urban Mobility, SEC (2007) show that road traffic is responsible of 80% of total CO2 transport emissions, of which urban traffic accounts for 40% in addition to 70% of emissions of other pollutants (CO, NOx, etc.). As over 70% of European population live in urban areas, urban transport (of both people and freight) has therefore significant impacts not only in terms of environmental degradation and economic loss (about 100 Billion Euro per year, 1% of the EU's GDP) but also in relation to citizens’ health and liveability of our centres.
This general context becomes even more critical in small-/mid-size European historic towns (SMHTs); i.e. urban areas with a total population between 50.000 and 180.000, having an historic centre as a core element of the town’s economic, social and cultural life and development. Here, a mix of critical issues – ranging from the physical characteristics of the urban environment and road system, to the very dense concentration of activities in a small area, the limited budgets of local administrations, the higher impacts of the recent economic crisis, etc. – provide further challenges.
PERHT - parking green services for better environment in historic tows - addresses these issues by experimenting several innovative measures in the historic town of Treviso. PERHT regards parking resources as an high value asset to leverage upon for building up and introducing new sustainable services for people and goods mobility. Parking services are indeed at the centre of urban mobility and, when operated in a clever and coordinated manner, can become a strategic tool for the integrated management of mobility, with relations to e.g. pedestrianised areas, Access Control Zones, Park + Ride services, etc.