By Shawn Conrad, CAE

Baseball great Yogi Berra was known for his clutch hitting on the ball field and for his “Yogi-isms” when talking to reporters after the game. One of my favorite Yogi-isms was, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Yogi and this saying came to mind recently when I visited a number of parking and mobility conferences. I heard a lot of people using the phrase “sustainable ecosystem,” which was repeated throughout many presentations and discussions.

As someone interested in the biological sciences, I heard professors talk about sustainable ecosystems in high school and college. Well, it’s back in vogue and used quite often in the transportation field. Sustainable ecosystems are generally thought of when evaluating the bio-diversity of an environment in which most things rely on each other to exist. Ecosystems thrive when you have large numbers of different species existing in an area large enough to allow for roaming and expansion.

In the parking and mobility environment, “sustainable ecosystem” can mean many things but essentially they are where all available transportation options (TNCs, transit, ride-share, car-share, AVs, biking, walking, etc.) not only exist but are managed to help a community thrive. But as everyone knows, natural or human-induced factors can alter ecosystems. With various disruptors at play, what will our ecosystem look like in 10 years?

The parking profession can play an enormous role in how the current transportation ecosystem evolves. At IPI, we have been very focused on getting a seat at this ecosystem’s table. Stay tuned—with some of the items we are working on, maybe we just might own the table!

Shawn Conrad, CAE, is IPI’s CEO.