Connections create smarter cities
“Oppidatim, Chipside’s smart cities strategy, empowers local government community partnerships of all sizes”, says Paul Moorby, managing director of Chipside and chairman of the Smart Cities Partnership.
Imagine, for a moment, a time when your residents and visitors are able to trade with your local community, visit local landmarks, shops and attractions without fear of inadvertently falling foul of local regulations.
Envisage that when genuine mistakes do occur, visitors and residents are left with a positive feeling about local services and how they are managed. If we dare to dream of a world where no penalties are needed, it might actually happen.
The delivery of core services, and parking provision in particular, has become very complex. Local authorities have to meet the varying, and sometimes competing, parking and delivery needs of residents, retailers, businesses and visitors.
Parking management must be transformed so that it becomes a favoured local service, not a feared one. It should be talked of positively. It should be a service that engages with all stakeholders.
How can this be achieved? Improving the quality of information provided to stakeholders is one way. This means being able to provide accurate, clear and increasingly real-time details of parking locations, availability, prices, permissions and restrictions.
Customers expect access to public services across an ever increasing range of platforms, to be faster, without interruption, every single day, wherever they choose. This is now true of parking, with drivers expecting to have access to parking information alongside route guidance and other data.
We live in a world in motion. Businesses are truly global. Even at a local level, many people travel significant distances in the course of everyday life. People are now more mobile than ever, be they commuting to work, shopping, education, leisure activities or on holiday. The fact people are all on the move means that they are not always familiar with local parking policies.
Informed drivers make better decisions on where and when they use their car and will understand the rules. Towns, cities and regions that invest in communicating with drivers will be cleaner, less congested and less polluted places.
Smart city projects across the world are delivering economies of scale and reducing resource usage. They are managing an ever growing population, using finite infrastructure, often not designed for modern pressures.
Smart city thinking makes use of ‘big’ and ‘open’ data to plan and provide services ranging from traffic management to social services, education to street cleaning. Parking is a vital part of this mix.
Smart city thinking will help local government do what it is good at, which is delivering local services and responding directly to local people at a local level.
Oppidatim, Chipside’s new smart cities strategy, is all about getting information to all those who need it in real-time. Oppidatim is about tapping big, open data and using this to help shape local policies, drive the local economy and empower local communities.
By Paul Moorby