Eran Ben-Joseph, Ph.D., professor of landscape planning and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has written a new book, ReThinking A Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking, and a feature about it for The Parking Professional [PDF], as well as a post here at the Parking Matters® Blog. Dr. Ben-Joseph makes many excellent points related to the importance and prominence of parking not only as a significant and necessary land use, but also the great potential that exists in rethinking it.

It is exciting to see the academic community beginning to recognize the significance of parking on so many levels. Donald Shoup, Ph.D., professor of urban planning at UCLA, deserves much credit for generating a greater awareness of parking to a broader audience.

Parking professionals today (I am proud to be considered one) routinely operate in a world of vision and scope that has expanded exponentially in the past decade. Parking is an exciting, multi-dimensional discipline that is more interesting, more varied, more relevant, and more valued than at any time in its history. Parking intersects with many other disciplines that today’s industry professionals are challenged to be fluent in; we know not only the fundamentals of parking management, but also those of related disciplines such as economic development, urban design, campus planning, sustainable transportation and brand development/communications, just to name a few.

Because of its importance, complexity, and specialized nature, the parking industry has two important challenges for the decade ahead: a need to prioritize education within the industry and to promote a greater awareness why Parking Matters® externally. I know that IPI has both of these priorities well in hand. The progress being made is truly exciting.

Thank you Dr. Ben-Joseph for helping to raise the level of discourse related to parking and for challenging all of us rethink how we do what we do.