top of page

URBAN LEGEND: Monheim am Rhein

How Smart Parking in Monheim am Rhein Contributes to a Holistic Mobility Concept with 33,000 Users

Power over Ethernet (POE), fiberglass cables, autonomous buses… the list of advanced technology that Monheim am Rhein offers its citizens is mindblowing. Read on for proof that even cities like Monheim - cities of the future - must grapple with parking management, and how SONAH helps.

Smart City in Monheim

It’s no exaggeration to say that Monheim am Rhein is a Smart City flagship. Over the last few years, the city has been determinedly executing an ambitious program: Monheim Strategie 4.0. That has included installing fiberglass internet across the whole city, autonomous buses, a digital bike hire system, smart lighting, a digital citizen account application…  the list goes on. In March 2022, Monheim decided to tackle another area: Smart Parking.



Why not?

Ask Monheim’s Smart City Project Manager, Florian Austermuhl, ‘why start a smart parking project now?’ and he’ll probably echo the sentiment ‘why NOT now?’. This is indicative of the attitude at Monheim am Rhein on the whole, which seems to be as follows: if there is an area where we can support our citizens better, why wouldn’t we try?


Just as we all experience somewhere or other, parking in the city can be a nightmare. While some cities tackle the problem of parking pressure with parking guidance systems or Park & Ride systems, others try to use dissuasion tactics like reducing parking spots in the city. Depending on the motivation for the solution e.g. to reduce emissions or to reduce traffic generally, some cities are working towards increasing e-charging facilities. Like, for instance, in the Netherlands.


For Monheim, the first port of call was to simply understand what was going on in the parking world - both in the industry and in the city itself. That meant learning what smart parking technology could provide them with what information and then using this knowledge to begin collecting parking data. 


Left disappointed by an initial foray into the world of ground sensors, the team were keen to make sure their next experiment not only brought results, but also made efficient use of their new fiberglass connections. 

monheim stadt symbol.png



Integration into PoE

Monheim am Rhein spent years building a city-wide PoE system (Power over Ethernet). This is no mean feat; by making it possible to connect devices to the internet and power with one cable, the opportunity to use advanced technology in new ways is invaluable. 


If you’ve read about some of our other Urban Legends, you’ll know that our customers often face the obstacle of finding a permanent power source for installing our sensors. We’ve got plenty of tried and tested methods of solving this issue, but the beauty of this project was that they weren’t needed.


Being able to integrate our solution into a PoE system meant exploiting several benefits for Monheim am Rhein, for instance:


  • One system and one setup for power and network

| simplified infrastructure | cost savings | rapid deployment | 


  • Increased quality of life for residents

| improved connection | economic development | disaster recovery | 


  • Achieving sustainability goals

| energy efficiency | compliance and standards | green IoT integration | 


With SONAH, Monheim am Rhein had found a company with the perfect product to pursue smart parking goals, as well as the technological know-how to integrate it into their hard-fought-for PoE system.

image_v3 (1).jfif
“The team worked out the mechanical details and guided us expertly through parts of the bureaucratic processes - like data protection, for instance.”

Florian Austermühl,

Project Leader of Strategy 4.0


A Smooth Run

At the start of the project, our team made it clear; making our overhead sensors PoE ready is a new challenge. That was in March. But by July of the same year, the system was already up and running. 


Initially, SONAH’s technical team wasn’t certain that PoE would be able to supply the necessary power. Once that was confirmed, it turned out to be a quick learning process and testing phase for a new plug in order to get the ethernet cable into the sensor.


Back at Monheim am Rhein HQ, the project ran even smoother. While some cities find that overhead sensors trigger negative responses from data protection workers, the team at Monheim faced a stress-free process. They sat down for the evaluation with a SONAH-provided guide to how the sensors work, containing an explanation of the high standards we hold. With a message of ‘GDPR-compliant overhead sensors are good, but SONAH takes privacy further’, the representative from Monheim’s data protection department left reassured and the project was given the go ahead.

220321FD_Rathausparkplatz OG 3 Osten (2).jpg
“It was new territory for us and for SONAH, but within a few stress-free months the system was up and running.”

Florian Austermühl

Project Leader of Strategy 4.0


A Holistic Mobility Concept

This project was a pilot project - no huge area was covered, no impressive amounts of parking spots were digitized. Instead, the car park at the townhouse was digitized, giving the city the chance to evaluate how our sensors performed against tricky camera angles, in different weather conditions, and over time. 


Monheim am Rhein now has the knowledge and good experience to confidently start implementing more parking management projects. Or other smart city projects that use our sensors - the options are many!


For us at SONAH, this project allowed us to try something totally new and create a standardized process for any future integrations into PoE concepts.


The City Where Digital Reigns

Monheim couldn’t be a better example of smart city progress if it tried. Since introducing its monumental ‘Monheim Pass’, a card and a digital platform for its 45,000 residents, more than 33,000 have signed up. That’s the sign of a city capable of creating solutions that citizens need and want - as well as making it accessible and attractive. With more projects already in planning with Monheim, we’re looking forward to seeing our data on their app. Thanks to Florian Austermuhl for taking the time to talk to us!

Want less traffic and more parking availability in your city?

Not yet? Read more here:

Typing on a laptop


All about smart parking, sensor tech, and SONAH's offerings

Green Buildings


Sustainability, tech, and city life: Discussions and articles in our blog



Meet the cities and businesses  tackling urbanization with SONAH

Find out more information like our Wuppertal parking management project.
bottom of page