Traditional cities are typically found on and around transport routes–rivers, roads and railways. They occupy strategic locations for trade, security, crossings, and meeting points. Streets/roads define the city/urban form as both paths and edges. In the past few centuries, attempts to fix the city have focused on the restructuring of the road and transport systems. New transport technologies have been central to the rethinking and reshaping of the city; that has been the case in the past and will very likely be the case in the future.

Rethinking parking for the twenty-first century requires that we think beyond the professional silos we have created. There is a need to integrate parking with a range of evolving policy areas and new challenges and opportunities. The extent of change will vary by place, but a helicopter view highlights a number of notable trends. These include the rise of AI (note how this may also radically improve urban transit options and reduce costs), electric vehicles, and provision of charging stations with parking, the booming car-share/ride-share economy, a decline in dependence on the private car, a concern to minimize climate change impacts and improve environmental outcomes, and rethinking cheap/free and expansive park-and-ride in favor of transit-oriented development.

Learn why it’s so important to factor in destinations and places worth visiting when setting parking priorities, in the November issue of Parking & Mobility.