1. Who Proposed the Perking Permit System?
In his first manifesto, the Governor of Saga Prefecture, Yasushi Furukawa aimed at the “creation of an all people-friendly city with the universal design.”
Introducing universal design as his basic policy, the governor established the “Saga Universal Design Promotion Guidelines” in March 2006, adopting opinions from representatives of various stakeholder organizations and eight advisors who had played active roles at the national level.
Yasuhiro Yamazaki, one of the advisors and a wheelchair user, proposed his idea of implementing the Parking Permit System to Saga Prefecture.
2. Who Implemented It?
Furukawa believes that the universal design must be a “prerequisite” in all areas of social and economic activities rather than simply being “something to be considered.” Saga Prefecture was the first prefecture in Japan to implement the Parking Permit System as a prerequisite all over the prefecture.
In the planning stage of the system, the Prefecture's Regional Welfare Division, considered that unlike similar systems overseas with the law enforcement power, they should focus on listening to the voices from the target users and that they should focus on the fact that the target users are not only the disabled but also those who had difficulty walking,unlike systems overseas.
In the process of making decisions on details, such as the scope of target users and the validity periods, they considered the opinions of persons with relevant knowledge and experience, groups associated with the disabled or elderly, child-rearing circles and intractable disease support centers.
As a result, the validity periods for the Parking Permits have determined to be a maximum of one year for pregnant women and temporarily sick or injured persons, and five years for persons with constant difficulty walking, such as the disabled.
3. Who were the Stakeholders?
Managers of relevant facilities, who were troubled with the inappropriate use of their parking spaces, issued a warning note whenever inappropriate parking occurred, but this practice was found to not be so effective.As each facility was able to decide by themselves who could use the parking spaces, they often received complaints from the eligible users, who were not able to find parking spaces.
As such, users, facility managers and the prefectural government jointly considered a mechanism for eliminating the inappropriate use of the parking spaces. This effort involved supporting each other in understanding the positions of other parties, and to make the mechanism sustainable. Then, the mechanism was put into operation.
Since the inception of the system, the mechanism has been improved in order to enhance the degree of user satisfaction and to respond to facility managers’ requests.
After five years from the inception , people requesting the renewal of their user certificates come to designated counters one after another. Saga Prefecture actively listens to the opinions of those people from their 5-year experiences.