Enhancing Urban Living: Trikala Municipality’s Innovative Approach to Supporting Vulnerable Households through the Novoville e-Parking System

In today’s fast-paced world, urban municipalities face multifaceted challenges, ranging from traffic congestion to socioeconomic disparities. However, amidst these challenges lie opportunities for innovation and progress. The Municipality of Trikala, nestled in the heart of Greece, has embarked on a groundbreaking initiative aimed at addressing these issues through its e-Parking System, powered by the Novoville platform.

The innovative e-Parking System, which we developed in collaboration with the Municipality of Trikala and the municipal company for urban development, revolutionises the way motorists interact with parking services, offering a seamless and secure platform for purchasing parking time. Residents can also swiftly apply for permits, while enforcement officers can efficiently manage violations using the dedicated enforcement app—all within seconds. This digital transformation extends to the administrative realm, empowering the Authority to oversee revenue, fines, permit applications, and urban planning through the Novoville cloud-based management dashboard.

At its core, the e-Parking System is more than just a technological upgrade—it’s a catalyst for social and economic change. By leveraging a portion of the system’s revenue, the Municipality of Trikala supports financially vulnerable households, particularly those grappling with energy poverty. This innovative approach not only improves residents’ quality of life but also fosters a more inclusive and equitable urban environment.

Furthermore, the system is designed to enhance the overall urban experience. With goals ranging from reducing traffic congestion to increasing footfall in local shops, the e-Parking System aligns with European standards and best practices of Sustainable Urban Mobility. Its ability to integrate with sensors, IoT/Smart City platforms, and local mobility services underscores a commitment to efficiency and sustainability.

The tangible impact of the e-Parking System is evident in its comprehensive features, extensive infrastructure and results yielded within 1.5 years of operation. Boasting over 530 parking spaces for visitors, 290 spaces for permanent residents, and designated spots for disabled individuals, the system caters to diverse needs. Additionally, it includes provisions for motorcycle and bicycle parking, promoting eco-friendly modes of transportation.

According to the traffic measurement sensors installed by the Municipality of Trikala, within 1.5 years, the traffic congestion in Trikala decreased by 32%. This means less emissions and less hassle to find an available parking space, as evidenced by another fact: the average parking time was reduced by a full 6.5 hours (from 9.5 hours to just 3 hours). Accordingly, the probability of finding a parking space increased by 50%.

At the same time, through the system, revenues corresponding to 2,206,093 kilowatt hours (KWh) were collected, which are donated to financially vulnerable citizens who are included in the welfare structures of the Municipality of Trikala. These kilowatt hours are equivalent to paying the monthly electricity bills of approximately 1,500 households. The new e-Parking System of the Municipality of Trikala is the 1st controlled parking system in Greece with direct return of revenues to financially vulnerable households.

The available data on the Novoville platform confirms the adoption of the system by citizens, as 21,400 users have registered in the Novoville app and over 556,300 successful parking transactions have been completed, corresponding to 872,255 hours of total parking time. In addition, 1,218 resident parking permit applications have been submitted through the platform.

The free Novoville app serves as the gateway to dozens of civic amenities and services. In addition to parking management, citizens can report neighborhood issues, receive real-time updates on their report’s resolution progress, receive important communications from their Municipality, and engage in mobile polls on local matters. From accessing useful answers regarding municipal procedures to discovering points of interest on an interactive map, the app empowers residents to actively participate in community affairs.

Looking ahead, the Municipality of Trikala has ambitious plans to scale up the e-Parking System. Expansion efforts will focus on adding more parking spaces of all types, ensuring accessibility and convenience for all citizens. Moreover, integration with e-bike providers will offer residents an alternative, eco-friendly mode of transportation, further reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

In essence, the e-Parking System exemplifies Trikala Municipality’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and social responsibility. By leveraging technology to address urban challenges and empower its citizens, Trikala sets a precedent for municipalities worldwide. As cities continue to evolve, initiatives like the e-Parking System pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive urban future.