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Munich expands bar areas by converting parking spaces

In order to allow for the accommodation of more people while adhering to social distancing measures, the Bavarian capital has come up with a new solution

  • May 21, 2020 19:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium munich 59059 1280

With Germany quickly progressing with its gradual reopening, in no small part thanks to its exceptional handling of the coronavirus pandemic, local authorities are looking for ways to help their businesses prosper and restart in the aftermath of the crisis.

The most important thing that is being demanded not only of citizens but of businesses and venues as well, is the adherence to social distancing measures – simply put, all you need to do in order to protect yourself and others is to simply stand far apart.

That, however, is challenging in confined spaces like restaurants, bars and cafes – even if they’re outside.

Eco-friendly solution

In order to remedy some space issues faced by such businesses, Munich’s local authorities have reached an innovative solution – giving parking spaces to such establishments to use as they see fit and to convert them into extra space for their outdoor areas.

The new policy which came into force after restaurants and cafes were allowed to reopen on 18 May,  also boasts environmentally-friendly aspects – on top of the economic benefits for business owners.

On the more obvious side, more space in establishments would allow them to take in more customers without breaking the stringent social distancing rules – thus giving them the opportunity to generate additional profit. On the other hand, converting parking spaces into something more useful in a sustainable manner fits perfectly into the Bavarian capital’s climate agenda which aims to heavily discourage the use of cars and other polluting vehicles.

The government’s idea builds on a similar initiative implemented in the Austrian capital of Vienna as well as last year’s summer conversion of parts of parks into extensions of cafes bars and restaurants implemented in Munich. Furthermore, in the future, such businesses will be allowed to operate more freely on the streets, so long as they clearly mark their boundaries with greenery thus also improving the image of the public spaces that are in use, while simultaneously finding even more room for customers.



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