The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the city of Arad, western Romania, have signed an agreement for a EUR 20 million loan to improve local urban mobility thanks to the introduction of a new parking management system, part of the local urban regeneration programme, a press release informs.
Arad boasts a population of 170,000 but the available parking facilities fall far short of demand in the historic centre of the city, as well as in the densely populated residential areas built during communist times.
The EBRD loan will be complemented by technical cooperation funds, under the EBRD Framework for Sustainable Mobility and Access to Road Transport (SMART), to assist Arad with the introduction of an integrated parking policy. SMART was established in late 2015 as a EUR 120 million facility to support local authorities or local transport operators seeking financing for their urban infrastructure priorities, with the aim of enhancing the quality of local transport in Romania, a key sector in the country’s transition to an effective market economy.
According to Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, Alleviating congestion and improving mobility will support economic development in Arad and the wider region as it will boost local businesses. In his turn, Gheorghe Falcă, Mayor of Arad, added that the urban regeneration programme will bring comfort and functionality to citizens, who will benefit from a modern and accessible parking system for residential areas, green and recreational areas and children’s play areas.
The EBRD has a longstanding relationship with the city of Arad that goes back to 2005. Previous EBRD loans were used for investments in urban infrastructure upgrades and improvements to public transport such as the new, energy-efficient trams acquired in 2014-2015.