Shoup Reflects on Evolution of Parking Industry

Urban Planning Professor Donald Shoup wrote an article in Parking Today about changes in the parking industry over the last 25 years. For most of the 20th century, the industry was stagnant, with parking meters that “looked identical to the original ones introduced in 1935,” Shoup explained. Since he published “The High Cost of Free Parking” in 2005, new technologies have made it possible to measure occupancy, charge variable prices for curb parking and make paying for parking much easier. Using license-plate-recognition cameras, parking apps and voice commands, many cities have been able to adopt demand-based pricing for curb parking. Shoup predicted that in the future, artificial intelligence may be able to determine optimal parking spots for price and time. “Better parking management can improve cities, the economy and the environment,” Shoup wrote. “The parking industry can help save the world, one space at a time.”

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