Costa Rica takes another leap forward in becoming Carbon Dioxide Neutral

Vincent Fow sensor

World-leading provider of car parking technology and parking management services Smart Parking is partnering with Madrid based Viarium Technologies to deploy its SmartPark space finding solution in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is rapidly developing and increasingly recognised for its commitment to sustainability by ranking third in 2014’s Global Green Economy Index behind Sweden and Norway a notable accomplishment for such a small country.

It has been a pioneer in incorporating sustainable development into decision making at national level in particular with the development of the "Costa Rica Carbon Dioxide Neutral 2021" an ambitious project which the Costa Rican government set the goal for the country to become carbon neutral by 2021 – a world first!

The Parking Problem

As a powerful emerging economy, with a population of 4.8million it is estimated that in urban areas, more than one third of drivers spend an unnecessary 580,000 kilometres a year looking for a parking space and as one of the main generators of Carbon Dioxide it is a key concern of the Costa Rican government as it strives towards its goal of becoming Carbon Dioxide Neutral.

On May 13, Cartago made history by becoming the first Smart City in Costa Rica with the launch of the “Cartago Historico Digital” project which saw the introduction of Smart Parking technology used to control parking in major cities and aid Costa Rica in achieving its Carbon Dioxide Neutral goal. Read more about it here.

The project has been developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) who worked with "Compañía Electica de Servcicios Publicos de Heredia (ESPH) in creating a public tendering process for which a consortium between UST Global, Sustainable Reference and Viarium Technologies offered the Smart Parking solution.

Carlos Villaseñor, Director General for Costa Rica and Central America Sustainable Reference explained at the launch; “The difference between the new system of Smart Parking’s bay sensor technology and other methods is that, for the first time, drivers are able to check parking availability in real-time and pay for parking using smartphone applications.

The deployment will see the installation of 200 V2 SmartEye sensors alongside SmartLink zone controllers in the cities of Cartago and Grecia.

It will also encompass Smart Parking’s SmartApp which will allow motorists to identify and be directed to streets with available bays avoiding driving around searching for a spot on roads which are already full.

Speaking about the exciting new deployment Smart Parking’s CEO Paul Gillespie said: The SmartEye sensors will provide never seen before kerbside management information and assist in fair use of the limited parking resource in Costa Rica. Analysis of this management information will help long term strategy in the required number of disabled, reserved, public and resident bays."

Director of Mobility, Infrastructure Management and Applied Technologies at Viarium Ingenieria, Javier Navacerrada said: “The Smart Parking solution is an ambitious project that will manage city parking and traffic, saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions."

He adds: "If the initial phase proves to be successful a further 1,600 sensors will be deployed across Cartago and Grecia in 2016 with an ultimate goal of a country wide deployment in 12,000 bays.”

Background to Smart Parking TechnologySmart Parking logo

Smart Parking is a $24m turnover global publicly listed business on the ASX (SPZ) with over 300 employees across Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Over 40,000 SmartEye sensors to date have been deployed in cities across the globe including Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, London, Dublin, Madrid and Cape Town with over 15,000 deployed in Europe alone.

Smart Parking’s SmartPark solution comprises of flush mounted, anti-slip profile RFID-equipped SmartEye sensors, which use advanced sensing technology to detect when a vehicle has occupied a parking space.

SmartRep back office software collates and analyses the live information on how parking space is being used. Accurate vehicle-by-vehicle, minute-by-minute data on actual usage of the city’s facilities gives the council the leading edge in day-to-day management and future planning.

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