The term smart city has become quite popular the last years. The expression indicates an urban area that, thanks to the use of advanced technology, isable to deal with a wide range of the citizen problems and needs in an innovative way. The purpose is to improve radically the quality of life, opportunity, health, social and economic development of the city.
However, a smart city is more than a digital or technologically advanced place. According to a group of researchers of the Vienna University of Technologies, the essence of a smart city is defined by six parameters: Smart Economy, Smart Mobility, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Living and Smart Governance.
One of the main problems for all big cities, and that touch on several of the six “smart parameters” are the lack of parking lots. Often, the public car parks built by the authorities, are not able to comply with the real needs of a city, defacing the landscape, with insufficient functional results.
That’s why different ventures have been launched the last years to reduce traffic and pollution in cities and make public transportation cheaper. For example, booking a parking spot online, allows you to avoid unnecessary queues, which again causes less pollution.
Parking is a central point of a Smart City, because a smart city informs people about available staging points in real time and enables them to build the best accessibility path with buses, trams, bikes or scooters, pedestrian areas, car sharing, taxis.
And to make the parking experience both more seamless and smarter, it’s also vital to allow people to pay for the parking service through their connected devices.
Even though the government or local authorities are the biggest owner of parking spots in most cities, they lack the flexibility to make concrete choices, investments in technology (for example for geo-referencing all the road staging points and therefore the possibility of informing on availability), but also directing and integration capacities whenever they are needed. This needs to be handled by a private company to work properly.
That smart parking saves people a lot of time, instead of looking for a free parking spot, is alone extremely beneficial for society, making it much more efficient.
But if you’re not convinced by the arguments presented already, there are countless others showing how beneficial smart parking actually is for the cities of the future:
- In the long run it would be possible to offer incentives to motorists for parking in low-demand areas to reduce congestion in areas with a lot of activity.
- Set higher prices on blocks with low turnover and reduce prices in nearby areas with little or no parking activity.
- Increase parking pricing during peak hours of the day and reduce it during off-peak hours to encourage drivers to run errands within off-peak hours.
- Smart parking lets drivers reduce stress (according to a 2015 study)
“How parking has been changed through technology, is similar to how the travel sector was disrupted 15 years ago,” explains co-founder of Parkimeter Jordi Badal.
Our app allows users (local private, professionals and tourists) to find available parking spots, to choose (and pay for) the most convenient parking spot for them and determine the shortest route to get there. In other words, it’s a way to connect users with parking spaces and payment services thanks to modern mobile technology.
Climate changes, a fast growing urban population, limited energy and water resources, economic and technological changes are just some of the challenges cities have faced the last decades. Smarter parking solutions will not solve all these issues, but it’s an easy way to start, and a way all of us can contribute.
After all, the goal of smart cities are to address these challenges, big and small, and exploit the opportunities offered by these changes, and try to create new projects and services to improve quality of life, respecting the environment and future generations.