Our Green Future: What Better Parking Solutions Mean for the Smart Cities of Tomorrow - Earth Day Texas

Technology & Innovation

Our Green Future: What Better Parking Solutions Mean for the Smart Cities of Tomorrow

EDTx_Logo_OurGreenFuture_880x440v2You’re driving around your city, looking for a parking space on a day when it feels like everyone in your town is out and about. You fight with the rest of the traffic and circle, and circle again. You just miss a spot on the way back.

Besides being an incredibly annoying nuisance, something else is happening when you can’t find that one spot to park – your car is being used a lot more than it has to be, and so are hundreds or maybe thousands of other people. And fixing this simple problem could have a significant environmental impact. Imagine “smart parking” meters connected to apps that alert you to free spots, or allow you to reserve your spot ahead of time. Sensors throughout the city that help free traffic congestion at prime times. Parking data charts in businesses and housing units to allow you to scope out the best place to go.

Parking is just one of the many problems the concept of “smart cities” is hoping to solve. And Dallas was one of the first official smart cities. Back in September 2015, the Obama administration launched an initiative to invest more than $160 million in the concept of smart cities, aimed at helping “local communities tackle key challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services.”

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And with this, the Dallas Innovation Alliance was born. The mission: “To develop a scalable smart cities model for the City of Dallas that leverages our distinctive strengths for the benefit of Dallas that also leaves a legacy of innovation, sustainability and collaboration for future generation.”

Some of what the DIA is focused on is obvious when you think about a smarter, greener city, like “growing urban residential district” and a “surge in redevelopment.” But others, like the parking solution, are less so.

How about WiFi? WiFi growth in public spaces is certainly a public convenience, but it also means making cities smarter and more environmentally conscious. “The outdoor WiFi market will rise from $15 billion a year to $37 billion by 2018,” reports Connect2Social. “By 2020 it is estimated that there will be 26.5 billion physical objects embedded with technology in an industry worth $1.9 trillion by that time.”

If more citizens can jump on WiFi in Dallas and other cities, more creative parking solutions can become available too. As the DIA says, “Infrastructure will be installed allowing for monitoring and visibility into available parking options, with the potential to locate and reserve parking ahead of time. Benefits include an improved citizen experience, increased parking utilization rates and decreased traffic congestion/CO2 emissions. A large proportion of urban congestion is directly related to cars looking for parking.”

Want to learn more about the Dallas Innovation Alliance, and the future of smart cities? Then join their collaboration with Earth Day Texas for “Smart Texas Revolution,” part of Earth Day Texas this year. The two-day conference will bring together “cities, civic organizations, academia, regional and state entities” to create “an aligned smart city strategy across Texas.”

Find out more here, and get ready for greener, and smarter cities – in Dallas and beyond.

About the author:

 Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 12.53.04 PMSteve Krakauer is a Content Marketing Director at a Dallas-based branding agency. Before being a Texas transplant, Krakauer was a journalist, producer and digital executive in New York City.


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