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How Smart Parking Will Shape Smart Cities

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Revolutionizing Urban Living with Smart Cities

The Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data promise to revolutionize city living through the creation of connected “Smart Cities.” And while some of those promised improvements are pretty wide-reaching, it’s pretty amazing to look into how many of the changes are designed at getting traffic off the streets and eliminating the gridlock that chokes so much of our urban infrastructure currently.

Rethinking Urban Parking for Smart Cities

City parking today largely relies on street spaces – both metered and free – and privately owned lots and garages to house the huge volume of commuter vehicles. This system, while profitable for the city and the garage owners, does next to nothing to reduce traffic congestion, and even less to optimize the usage of available space. In fact, a significant amount of city traffic comes from drivers circling blocks looking for free (or at least more affordable) parking options. And that’s exactly why revamping parking is high on the priority list of any Smart City’s plans.

Smart Parking Solutions for Smart Cities

At a high level, a Smart Parking solution for a Smart City will work by leveraging the many parking spaces already available within the city. It’s a simple formula that looks something like this: every morning, all your suburban commuters drive into the city for work. At the same time, all your city residents who work in the suburbs hop in their cars and leave their parking spaces behind – and many of those spaces sit in private lots where they remain empty until that same driver returns later that night. Smart Parking gives building owners a way to offer up those spaces to commuters, creating an additional revenue stream while helping to find convenient parking solutions for the city’s many drivers.

Addressing Challenges in Smart Parking Solutions

Now the obvious problem here is “what happens if the commuter is still in the private parking spot when the city resident returns?” And the answer is simple: that won’t happen, because the Smart Parking system will associate each space with a specific commuter leasee, and it will track their arrival and departure times. If the commuter is still in the space as it’s getting close to time for the resident owner to return, the parking software makes it easy to contact the day commuter and have them vacate the space.

Innovative Approaches to Smart Parking Solutions

And that’s just one low-hanging fruit in the Smart Parking catalog. There’s a whole separate industry of approaches related to the total reinvention of the parking garage. Well, reinvention isn’t the right word, as many of these space-saving ultra-efficient parking garages already exist in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world where urban real estate space is at a premium. These designs use all sorts of innovative ideas to pack more cars into fewer cubic feet than you ever thought was possible
As automobile traffic decreases, pedestrian traffic can increase. The more foot traffic a city has, in general, the better for shops, restaurants, and other businesses. Fewer circling cars also means less air pollution, and there’s reason to believe that the overall reduction of traffic in cities throughout the world could make a meaningful impact on global CO2 emissions.

The Role of Smart Parking in Urban Planning

And that’s just one low-hanging fruit in the Smart Parking catalog. There’s a whole separate industry of approaches related to the total reinvention of the parking garage. Well, reinvention isn’t the right word, as many of these space-saving ultra-efficient parking garages already exist in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world where urban real estate space is at a premium. These designs use all sorts of innovative ideas to pack more cars into fewer cubic feet than you ever thought was possible
As automobile traffic decreases, pedestrian traffic can increase. The more foot traffic a city has, in general, the better for shops, restaurants, and other businesses. Fewer circling cars also means less air pollution, and there’s reason to believe that the overall reduction of traffic in cities throughout the world could make a meaningful impact on global CO2 emissions.

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