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Shift happens!

The multi-storey car park is evolving into the mobility hub

Tomer Meirom
08 July 2020
Design for a Mobility Hub for the Luton & Dunstable University Hospital


The world around us is ever-changing. The more general shifts in our environment: climate change, urbanisation, the fusion of home and office environments (increasingly popular since the outbreak of COVID-19) have significant impact on mobility.

The use of fossil fuels is discouraged, whereas electrical mobility is encouraged. Car-sharing schemes are becoming readily available and simplified by digitalisation. The development of autonomous driving is rapidly advancing and expected to reach market soon. These developments may not stop the individual use of cars but will bring about change in the manner cars and car parks are used.

It is almost a decade since HUBER Car Park Systems first designed and built a multi-storey car park (MSCP) for the NHS. Multi-storey car parks in Wolverhampton, Stratford-upon-Avon, Leicester and Aberdeen followed. Throughout the years, these car parks have been designed to fulfil their traditional function, whilst adapting to incorporate up-to-date technological innovation, such as e-mobility, LED-lighting and advanced controllers.

In 2020, HUBER completed a second MSCP for New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, and are mid-construction of MSCPs at Northwick Park hospital in Harrow and at Luton & Dunstable Hospital, as well as leading the design process for new MSCPs at Warwick Hospital and at Southampton Hospital.

Representing the evolution of innovations such as electric vehicles and cycling, these facilities will be more than “just” car parks, they will be “mobility hubs”. What does that actually mean?

The mobility hub is envisaged as being the mediator between off-campus transportation and on-campus mobility. The hub should enable the smooth management of traffic towards the campus and enable efficient management of users’ stream onto campus.

In a future scenario, users should leave their arrival vehicle, be it car, bike or scooter at the hub and continue by campus transportation system, maybe in the form of public autonomous transportation (POD capsules) that will distribute users arriving to the hub further on the campus.

A successful mobility hub should be located on the campus border, readily accessible by public and personal transportation. Space must be provided for all transportation methods to co-exist. Sufficient charging facilities should be provided – electric car users will expect to return to a fully charged vehicle. Future digitalisation shall allow users to communicate with the hub prior to arrival to ensure seamless parking and payment, as well as order the onward transport into the campus.

In anticipation of these changes, HUBER has introduced HUBER 360 Smart Parking. These ‘smart mobility hubs’ offer barrier-free entrance and exit, cash-free payment, dynamic pricing concepts, intelligent interactive guidance systems, intelligent parking systems (IPS), light control and e-mobility; and are designed with infrastructure which provides flexibility to incorporate further advances in digital innovation in the future.

Tomer Meirom is managing director UK of HUBER Car Park Systems

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