Smart Cities, Smart Parking

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With the push to make cities technologically smarter, planners are looking at how cities will evolve – and where people will park.  DigitalTrends.com reports younger people are both moving into urban environments, and driving less. The popularity of ride for hire transportation suggests that fewer city dwellers will be interested in owning their own cars.

While this is predictive for future residents, current drivers need somewhere to park. Brian Abbanat, senior transportation planner for Davis, California told DigitalTrends, one thing they do not intend to build is more parking garages. He suggested pay-by-app ticketing to make things a little easier in the short term, but said prohibitive building costs and changing trends argue against constructing more garages. “Technologies come and go. Fuel cells were going to be big, then there was the Segway, now it’s the e-bike sharing systems,” he added.

Auto industry veteran and Mini’s current head of strategy and innovation, Esther Bahne, agrees. “It’s not just about the car industry,” she said, “It’s about the whole environment. Getting rid of parking lots, for example, can free up streets, allow for more parks and less pollution.”

Bridging the gap between today’s needs and tomorrow’s prospects, Columbus Ohio Mayor, Andrew Ginther, pondered, “So now we ask, how can we build a parking garage so that it can be repurposed and reused in the future?” Smart City conferences continue to address these sorts of concerns and suggest rethinking the architecture, so that garages built today can be converted into more living space when extra parking spaces are no longer needed.

March 6, 2019

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