Puzzle Lift Parking

January 12, 2021

Parking Doesn’t Have To Be a Puzzle…but Maybe It Should Be.

Over 4 billion people live in cities worldwide, a number projected to reach 9.7 billion, 75% of the global population, 30 years from now. –

Despite a brief slowdown due to the current pandemic, the dramatic growth of global urban populations is expected to continue.

The question is, where are we all going to park?

One solution to preventing our cities from being paved over with parking lots is automated parking systems. For the uninitiated, these parking systems work with a combination of movable pallets within a steel-framed structure. The most popular automated parking system in the US is called a Puzzle Lift. Unlike traditional surface parking lots or parking structures, Puzzle Lifts use portable parking spaces called pallets to make the most of available space. The pallets are organized in lift systems that enable horizontal and vertical movement of vehicles, similar to a puzzle game.

The CityLift Puzzle LiftTM is our most popular and versatile mechanical parking solution. Why? For many developers, builders, and architects, parking challenges can pose real problems. Sometimes there is no way to meet parking count requirements using surface parking or conventional parking structures. In this case, automated parking lift systems can be used to save more than 80% of the space required by traditional parking solutions. For example, the configuration above shows how a Puzzle Lift can increase surface parking space more than 5X, from four cars to 22 cars.

In space-constrained city centers and high-density population areas, automated parking can mean the difference between a project that never makes it past the drawing board to one that’s extremely successful.  If you are wondering if a puzzle is appropriate for your next project, here’s a quick overview to make you a puzzle parking master in a hurry:

Puzzle Lifts:

  • Became popular parking solutions in crowded Northern California cities, and are being installed around the world.  CityLift Puzzle Lift solutions are a proven technology that has been in use for more than 25 years, and CityLift has installed more than 60,000 automated parking spaces globally.
  • Are widely used in residential, mixed-use, and public garages in impacted urban areas.  Other uses for Puzzle Lift Parking include schools, government buildings, hospitality, and medical facilities.
  • Have proven to be extremely versatile and customizable to individual projects. Puzzle Lifts can be built up to seven levels, with or without pits, to accommodate parking below grade.
  • Are now available with built-in electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions. Charging solutions can be customized to fit your project’s current and future needs, whether your project requires a few charging stations or 100 percent electrification.
  • Often feature optional flat pallets for greater safety and convenience for drivers parking and retrieving their cars. Drivers love puzzle lifts because their cars are securely stored and protected from the elements and accidental damage from other cars.  

Note: Flat panel options are available at additional cost. The images shown above are prototypes.
  • Can be designed in tandem configurations for faster retrieval times. Puzzle Lift solutions are ideal for new construction or retrofit projects that have a minimum clear height of 11’ 7 3/4″.
  • Provide a quick-and-easy parking experience for residential and valet applications, and in most cases do not require an attendant.
  • Are very cost-effective options. In addition to making the most of available space, Puzzle Lift parking solutions can provide lower maintenance and operational costs, and construction costs are comparable to traditional parking structures.
  • Can be built in standalone configurations without being connected to another building – or created with a customized exterior to match existing projects. We call this configuration the CityLift Puzzle-in-a-Box, and it can be installed on outdoor surface lots with no columns, drive aisles or drainage, from two to seven levels high. Puzzle-in-a-Box installations are also extremely versatile and work for constrained spaces and properties with unusual shapes.

In the US, we have installed largest semi-automated puzzle lift in Oakland, CA, and the tallest standalone Puzzle Lift in Nashville, TN. We are currently working on a 740-space project, in Detroit that will be the largest Puzzle Lift parking structure in the US.

You can learn more about CityLift Puzzle LiftTM systems and puzzle parking and other custom parking solutions at our website, or check out the videos at CityLift’s YouTube Channel.

To get started with your own Puzzle Lift Parking project, contact a CityLift Smart Parking Concierge today.

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