The Ease of Parking In Urban Cities

The entire concept of cruising around tight, one way streets in a crowded city is a frustrating thought on its own, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that everybody spends all too much time looking for parking. Now there is a mobile app that not only locates available parking spaces, but allows you to pay on your phone as well, eliminating the trip going to the parking meter and back to your car and then in the direction you were heading initially. The headache of city parking made easy with the click of a button. Ottawa, Canada is one of the first cities to implement  these apps into their parking meters all across the city (Hockenson).

This innovation has a role in sustainability in an indirect way. The immediate parking not only saves time for the individual, but also helps relieve traffic and congestion in horribly tight city streets. The less time spent driving in circles, the less cars are on the road. This not only has infrastructure consequences, but it could also be argued that since the cars are on the road less, they are not contributing to the emission of fossil fuels as much.

These parking apps are making sure that the project is a success by really understanding the geography of cities and utilizing the convenience of smart phones with integrating something that some people do every day. One app that is based right here in Chicago is called ParkWhiz, and it has gained a lot of attention because of the ease of parking in airports, for special events, and even scheduled daily and monthly parking. By consistently innovating these companies continue to gain traction. With over 200 cities available, the company is making it easier for almost anybody to find reasonable parking, and the people using the app are loving it.

When assessing the transportation infrastructure of a city, its important to take in account for every factor, like peak hours, construction, public transport routes, and other inconsistencies. All companies need to think about these topics. The ParkWhiz app also needed to assess socioeconomic indicators of the regions it was in. For example it is important to know the average GDP of the neighborhoods you have to “asses the economic development” of the particular city (Birch).

Laurel Hockenson “The Future of Parking is Already in Your Pocket.” http://mashable.com/2012/07/18/parking-tech/#E6mXmT2LPPqI

ParkWhiz http://www.parkwhiz.com/about/

Eugene L. Birch “Measuring U.S. sustainable development” https://us130urbansustainability.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/measuring-u-s-sustainable-urban-development-original.pdf

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2 thoughts on “The Ease of Parking In Urban Cities

  1. Living in a city like Chicago where traffic is immense and parking is scarce, I agree that apps that help people to find accessible and affordable is not only efficient, but sustainable as well. I never thought of the fact that helping drivers find parking would decrease fossil fuel emissions until I read this post. If you visit the link to the Chicago Tribune article below, you’ll learn more about ParkWhiz and their success, which includes the fact that they have raised $24 million in funding, have acquired other parking companies, and are in the process of creating more jobs!

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-parkwhiz-24-million-funding-bsi-20160126-story.html

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  2. I like this idea, though I wouldn’t want to be driving around Chicago while on my phone; I’d get my car totaled! In general, improving tech and apps like this one save time and energy on a huge scale. With regards to time spent in a car, this is definitely an environmental bonus. This also goes for apps that encourage paperless transactions and business.

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