ParkMe is a parking application that helps drivers find real-time parking availability in color coded maps that highlight the most likely availability for parking on a block-by-block basis. Drawing from a comprehensive parking database detailing 25,000 worldwide locations in more than 500 cities and 19 countries, factors such as street sweeping schedules, hour limits and pricing are available for street parking, metered parking, parking lots and parking garages.
PSFK.com reached out and spoke to ParkMe Director of Communications Kevin Blomberg, to get his thoughts on how proximity services can impact the development of future cities:
One of the big stats we’ve found working with various parking commissioners and DOT’s around the country is approximately 30 – 50 percent of urban congestion is caused by people circling around looking for available spaces. Parking is an essential urban management issue, and better data like ours can help cut down on traffic. Cities are also adamant that smart parking can drastically reduce the amount of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere, so it’s ultimately a sustainability issue.
Mobile technology platforms are leveraging location as a key metric for helping citizens seamlessly access a host of services to help them better navigate their urban environments. For drivers, the ParkMe service includes route navigation and a timer. For businesses, the ParkMe widget allows merchant sites to feature real-time parking availability near their location. Additional features include the ‘recommendation engine’ that shows drivers the best parking location around their destination based on cost and proximity. The app also has a ‘rate calculator’ feature, which automatically calculates the total price of parking based on the amount of time they would like to stay. Overall the application is designed to give drivers more access to parking in dense cities, delivered in a seamless manner.
Winka Dubbeldam, celebrated architect and principal of Archi-Tectonics, has most recently lent her expertise to a crowdsourced plan to revitalize Bogota, Colombia called MyIdealCity. She believes that the future of urban planning is in proximity services:
As technology quickly evolves, it facilitates us moving around faster and better informed. But it also requires various places and spaces to perform better and more competitively to answer the ever rising, more informed demand.
Another example of proximity services is Scoot Networks a network of shared, electric, smartphone-activated motorscooters people can ride in the city.
Ayesha Khanna is Director of the Hybrid Reality Institute, a research and advisory group exploring the human-technology co-evolution and its implications for society. She gave PSFK.com her thoughts on how Proximity Services can positively impact urban environments:
Technologies are more ubiquitous, intelligent, social and integrated than ever before.Ubiquity is about smart sensors and other innovations essentially coating our habitats, particularly dense and modern cities, relaying information seamlessly through the Internet of Things. Intelligent and social go hand-in-hand, but are different.
Whether providing a real-time map of available parking spots or instantly connecting nearby people around location-specific conversations and meet-ups, these proximity services make it easier for anyone to easily find and tap into services and information when they need them most.
Over the next 6 months, PSFK and a team of experts imagining the future of a city will be asking you what you envision as ‘My Ideal City’. Tweet us your ideas using the hashtag of the week and view all the submissions at the MyIdealCity site.