Space is essential to smart city development: An opportunity for asset managers

Fresh thinking is needed

Fresh thinking around the concept of mobility is required to keep up with changes in society. JustPark outlines precisely why space is a key component on the road to smarter cities and how its partners are uniquely placed to capitalise.

You’re probably familiar with the concept of smart cities, it’s a phrase that’s gained in popularity over the past few years. But the concept dates back to the 1900s and is associated with people like the legendary industrialist George Cadbury whose pioneering work laid the foundation for the creation of garden cities. At the heart of the garden city concept was the understanding that people need to live and work in clean environments that treasure a sense of community and the overall wellbeing of its inhabitants.

A lot has changed over the past century, but the need for our cities to get smarter and serve the people who live and work in them better are ever present. One key difference today compared to the 1900s, is that most people don’t live close to where they work. Family members also live further apart from each other. Many people who travel across the country and work in cities commute using a mixture of transportation. Despite people making an increasing number of trips YoY, most trips conducted by car are relatively short. In 2017, 68% of car journeys were reported to be under 5 miles [National Travel Survey: England 2017].

Finding smarter ways to connect people to the places where our loved ones live and where we work is a challenge that requires a multitude of solutions ranging from infrastructure to societal change. In the face of increasing congestion and dense populations in our cities, the need for decentralised and flexible parking solutions is increasing. JustPark is helping asset managers get ahead of these issues and transform their parking provisions into a benefit that they can maximise revenue from, rather than a burden that requires costly investment and administration.

Under-utilised space is an expense that most can’t afford to waste money on. With tenants offering flexible working, long-term parking permits and fixed parking spaces at work are no longer seen as the attraction that they once were. The JustPark app gives access to empty spaces, helping to make the most of that extra availability at times that it’s not required.

Using dynamic pricing and predictive availability, JustPark can open up those spaces to visitors and other workers in the local area, transforming an under-used parking provision into an additional revenue stream.

Positioning for the future

We don’t have to look too far into the future to see the premium that will be increasingly placed on space. JustPark has stated as an organisation that its mission is to “repurpose and optimise spaces, ensuring people can make smarter, seamless and sustainable transport decisions.” Beyond parking cars, the company’s growing network of spaces have the potential to provide space for micromobility vehicles like e-bikes and scooters, space for online deliveries via drone, and even aerial taxis.

Part of this new mobility is the focus on first and last mile travel. As our transport networks are nudged towards decentralised locations by societal shifts and Low Emissions Zones, businesses and commuters may only need a personal vehicle for a very short portion of journeys. Plans revealed by the Department of Transport during a 2018 consultation suggest that we could see a radical reduction in the access that HGVs and vans have to city centres. Creating smart and connected transport hubs for people, as well as goods, is a crucial component in preparing us for that future.

In the US, where the charge toward EV and first and last mile travel is being fully embraced, billions of dollars has been invested in micromobility startups since 2015. However, here in the UK, one of the major barriers for adoption of these small and environmental-focused vehicles is the need for docking space. Thinking beyond simply parking cars, a creative approach to space management could see spaces that are currently used for parking cars, used for a range of vehicles and services.

With smart deliveries, the rise of EVs, increased emissions restrictions, decentralised transport and the micromobility space set to boom over the coming decades, there are a number of clear opportunities for asset managers. JustPark is leading the charge towards a smarter, better connected future, with its partners reaping the financial rewards while supporting the changing infrastructure needs of our future streets.

About JustPark

JustPark’s award-winning service is trusted by more than 2.5 million drivers with the highest rated consumer parking app in the UK. Their cashless service streamlines parking for the motorist and cuts administration costs for car park owners. The company provides car park technology to over 300 hotels including Marriott and Hilton as well as to businesses in the property sector including Savills and JLL. You can follow JustPark on Twitter @JustParkHQLinkedIn and Instagram. To learn more, visit:

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