Neil Finn wrote these words in 1981 on that great album Waiata, which I have recently rediscovered. Aptly the B side was “Holy Smoke”.
So, what has this got to do with ParkScience and the weird and wonderful world of parking you ask. It had me thinking about my early days in parking, moving to Sydney in the heady days of 1988 before FBT, Parking Levies and mobile phones. The parking market was exceedingly robust and the challenge (it seemed) was to get hold of as many leased sites as possible on the longest terms as possible, then turn up the dial.
It was a little like a John le Carre novel – George Smiley meeting his old nemesis Karla after the end of the Cold War. As to who is who, I will leave it up to you to decide.
I met David Knight (Group General Manager Secure) recently in Brisbane to catch up after learning he was leaving Secure Parking, having started some 33 years ago. He was employed by Garth Matthews and expertly trained in all the dark arts of parking – with a flair for development and negotiations.
He rose from a sales role to be Group General Manager and was instrumental in the Secure brand maintaining its pre-eminence in the Queensland market.
Warehouse conversions are commonplace around the globe for residential and commercial property – but this must be a first.
Around the corner from my hotel in Amsterdam was a canal conversion – that’s right – a canal that is being converted into a carpark!
The De Pijp district was built in the late nineteenth century with narrow streets and no cars. Whilst the Dutch love their bikes (and no carbon fibre or lycra here) they also want their cars. So ZJA Zwarts & Jansma architects have come up with a great solution that provides parking for 600 cars and 60 bicycles under a canal.
Artificial Intelligence and parking?
This was not even a blip on the radar five years ago. AI are in a similar field to ParkNow with a variety of white labelled products for smart devices and in car displays. They have a substantial presence in Germany with a proven product. However, the product that caught my eye was for on street parking or open-air parking lots. A single sensor can cover up to 30 spaces and is mounted on a lamp post and can be solar powered. It has a cloud-based engine that can provide extensive predictive and useage data to a central location or to users through smart devices.
ParkScience attended the premier event for parking and traffic nerds in Amsterdam in April – braving 5-degree weather to see where the industry is headed. It is a massive event with almost 900 companies from 49 countries exhibiting, and over the four event days a record of 32,317 visitors from 138 countries worldwide attended. Over 75% of attendees were international visitors.