Smart parking is one of the easiest ways humans can make cities more sustainable.

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.

Parking smart

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.

Not convinced?

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)

50.000 cars

Parkimeter, a Barcelona grown startup, have since 2013 parked over 50.000 cars, becoming a leader in the booking market for parkings in Barcelona and Spain.

“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.

There is hundred of choices for people choosing to park smart in Barcelona.

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.

………………………….

This post was written by Braggion Martina at itnig startup Parkimeter.

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O.

On sales leadership

These are some values that I learned that define a leader:

– A leader is somebody who reaches their goals and achieves beyond their individual abilities aligned with their own values and the organization’s values. A leader without a team is not a leader. A leader works for the team, not the other way around.

– Humbleness. Leaders must get to know themselves first, acknowledge their limitations. Acknowledge they have no recipe for success (no one does). They will succeed only by being curious and trying things faster, testing, changing things again, failing again, learning as fast as possible. In sales, everybody notices when things work well, success is measured in € vs budget. A leader must embrace results with no buts and take action to reach the goals.

– A leader works harder, a leader cares about the goals more than anybody else, they took full ownership of the goals. A leader does about anything to remove bottlenecks away on his team, they assist, train, support everybody, anything it takes. They are always the best resource for their team.

– A leader will always be available for everybody in their team, for personal and professional issues. They go the extra mile. They make sure everybody knows that. They earn the team’s trust.

– A leader makes everyone aware that teamwork is not negotiable. Without a cooperative team, there’s no leader. Lone wolves kill the growing/changing organization. Growth happens only WITH the team, not at their expense.

– Leaders communicate all the time, they don’t keep things to themselves, they are honest with their team. They share good and bad. They share the why’s. They trust their team. Trust precedes process and it is the only path to grow at a scale.

– Leaders learn fast and learn mostly from their team. The team has the most valuable knowledge a leader can get, it doesn’t come from books, blog posts, degrees or mentors. The team gets the real shit from the front line. A leader listens to their teams’ impressions and ideas, they explore them all and give feedback. Leaders generate a culture of idea generation and idea sharing. Leaders stay away from guru preaching.

– It’s important to understand people’s personal and professional ultimate goals and motivations. Leaders spend time asking them on their one on ones and they think about them. They write them down. Everybody is playing the movie of their lives, a leader must find out which one is it, they make sure each team member keeps being the hero of their movie.

– Leaders always lead by example, not by title. They show real bravery. Leaders go first to battle. They call leads and close customers. They apologize to customers when the company screws up. They take the shit first. They don’t leave anyone behind. They don’t show their rank, their status, their difference, their pedigree. Startups are flat meritocratic organizations. Leaders must understand well the company goals and they put them first, they are prepared to step down, or step aside, or leave the company at any moment if needed. Company goals are what matters most. Leaders show this to everyone. Company/collective oriented leaders always thrive.

– Leaders celebrate every victory. They visibly show the pain of every defeat. They take every opportunity to show they care. They analyze why/what/how and find out always changes to be made. Then they go and make the changes. They change anything or everything, but never keep on doing what doesn’t work. They shake the whole company inside out before/when goals are not met.

– Leaders set goals that are both ambitious and achievable. They work along the team to make sure they meet the goals. They are flexible when the goals are set wrong. They are implacable when goals are not met.

Most people will never be a leader. It takes time and patience, it takes survival skills, it takes real personal strength. But after committing to all these things, things start to work. Leaders are such when and only when they brought teams to make things work, nobody becomes a leader just by trying it. True leaders make sure they don’t leave the boat until things work (as they will work, ultimately!). They don’t leave the job undone.

– Bernat Farrero CEO at Itnig