Written by Vitor Pereira
Since always, one of the major concerns of the towns, small, medium or large, has to do with the management of parking. It is known that parking is an important source of income for municipalities and, on the other hand, the efficient management of this valence allows greater sustainability of resources, as well as greater profitability thereof.
Throughout time the municipalities have tried to find the best solution and more sustainable for the optimization of the entire system, lowering, in one hand, the costs for users and citizens (important in times of crisis and with the competition of alternative private parks) and, on the other hand, saving in maintenance costs and management.
The introduction of new technologies in management systems is not new, there are various examples of more or less innovative solutions that have been adopted and experienced by everyone. However, with technology innovation and the great leap of smartphones and mobile applications, the trend is no longer experimental turn out to be the way forward.
In Portugal, the city of Coimbra is developing its Smart City project, and one aspect of its plan it is, precisely, this issue of parking of vehicles in the city.
Coimbra (Portugal) assumes technological forefront
In conjunction with the largest telecom operator in the country, Portugal Telecom (PT), a system was developed allowing drivers to pay the parking of vehicles without using coins. The system will be using SMS, mobile applications (iOS and Android) and mobile portal.
The Mayor of the city, João Paulo Barbosa de Melo explained that this initiative, implicating municipal and private entities, “aims to help people to fulfil their obligations.”
In addition to avoid the use of physical cash, the system also allows drivers garaging vehicles in the municipal parks managed by the municipal transport company, “making life easier for citizens”, who no longer have to walk to the cashiers, and may also pay for additional parking time through the system.
The Municipal Police of Coimbra will take care of inspections using an “interface with the system to check the parking time.” A system that, according to Mario Seborro, PT, will be implemented in 10 more cities in Portugal and in the short and medium term may be exported to other countries, notably the Portuguese speaking.
The example of Valladolid (Spain)
Another innovative system was presented last weeks in Valladolid (Spain). This is the system “Blue Parking” which is precisely the aim of optimizing the surface parking in the city. The system consists in a mobile application for Android and iOS that will, wisely, help this smart city drivers, informing them about the vacancies and regulating parking space, and to facilitate payment modes. Several drivers wanted to join the experimental period of this system, which showed obvious advantages in finding places and forms of payment, and other information.
To the side of public administration and operators, the benefits are also noteworthy, as it can have at their disposal a better system of management and control, allowing for decongestion of traffic and therefore a reduction of pollutant emissions in the city. This is to improve the quality of life in cities, providing them with innovative tools that improve citizen’s quality of life and enabling an effective optimization of resources and greater sustainability systems. Minimal requirements for a Smart City.
About Vitor Pereira
“After 20 years of Journalism and Media Professional, I’m dedicated since 2008 to new projects related with Innovation and Technology. Consultant of many municipalities to the Smart Cities theme and Tourism sector based on the newest technologies and communication tools.”