The City of Perth owns and operates a public parking enterprise that caters for about 10 million customers each year. There is an increasing public consciousness of global warming and motor vehicles are seen as a significant contributor to growing energy consumption and gas emissions. With this in mind, the City of Perth has come up with various initiatives to reduce energy consumption and vehicle gas emissions. Initiatives include tree planting, involvement in an Electric Vehicle Trial programme and various environmentally friendly features in car parks.
Electric Vehicle Trial Program
An Australian-first, the WA Electric Vehicle Trial was launched in March 2010. A number of State Government agencies, local authorities and private sector organisations have joined forces through the trial to help demonstrate the potential for the use of electric vehicles. The trial is providing information on the performance, environmental benefits, policies, infrastructure and practical implications for the future use of electric vehicles in WA.
With the City of Perth's commitment to Green Initiatives the opportunity to be involved in the WA Electric Vehicle Trial was taken up with enthusiasm by the City of Perth and the City will be an active participant in the ongoing development of alternative mobility with minimal environmental consequences.
Tree Planting to Offset Carbon Emissions
The City of Perth is the first local authority in Australia to commit to a climate change initiative in the form of carbon sequestration (the prevention of greenhouse gas build-up in the earth's atmosphere by methods such as planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide) by planting and maintaining 85,000 trees for a 40 year production life funded from fees paid by parking customers. 85,000 trees were planted in 2009 and maintained on a property in Kojonup, which will entrap an estimated 15,600 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e) at maturity. Further funding has been allocated to continue the Carbon Off-set Tree Planting programme and 85,000 suitable trees are to be planted to absorb the same amount of CO2 emissions in Stage 2 as with the previous stage. This demonstrates the City’s commitment to reducing atmospheric carbon.
The above photos show the tree planting process at Kojonup.
Environmentally Friendly Car Parks - Elder Street
The Elder Street car park, CPP's newest facility, showcases an array of environmentally friendly features that set a bold new standard in green car park design. Features used at Elder Street include:
- LED signs with real time availability of car bays highlighted for each level, as well as way finding/directional signage, which aim to reduce travel time and CO2 emissions.
- Rain water harvesting (the collection, storage and distribution of rainwater from the roof) which lowers general water consumption.
- Dedicated caged motorcycle and bicycle parking with controlled entry from Elder Street. This is the first car park in Australia to provide these facilities. It allows patrons to park at Elder Street and use the free CAT bus to commute to the city centre to reduce traffic and congestion.
- Low energy lighting: smart systems lighting where the level of power can be controlled and specific lights can be automatically switched off where levels are not in use. For example, when Elder Street car park floors 4 and up are closed off, lights on closed levels are switched off, while operational levels of the car park have lights on.
- Natural ventilation with automatic CO2 monitoring (ventilation adjusting) to reduce energy consumption.
- Solar panels have been installed on the roof to supply energy to electric vehicle charging facilities. The car park has 12 bays ‘hard wired’ for electric vehicle charging. Energy that is not consumed from the solar panels is sold back into the power grid, which reduces energy costs.
Elder Street car park has been set as the benchmark for all CPP car parks. In time, the technologies will be rolled out to the rest of the car parks.