Most of us don’t think much about parking until we find ourselves circling a lot in search of a space or have to put our parallel parking skills to the test. But “if you own a car, use public transportation, go to work or school, use health care, shop, or dine out,” said Rita Pagan, DES, director of events & exhibits for the International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI), “parking and mobility choices affect you.”
Originally called the International Parking Institute when it was founded in 1962, IPMI updated its name in 2015 to reflect “a critical shift from thinking of parking as a single business,” Pagan told Convene, “to a far more complex one,” sitting at the intersection of urban planning, real estate, technology, and mobility. The industry’s increasingly interconnected nature means that IPMI’s Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo draws attendees from a wide range of institutions that own or manage parking facilities and are part of IPMI’s membership. Participants include both frontline workers and executives from convention centers, airports, health-care campuses, universities, government agencies, and more. Architects, engineers, and contractors also are among the annual event’s long and varied registrant list.
“IPMI is the largest association for professionals who work in parking, transportation, and mobility — the professionals that keep people, goods, and services moving,” Pagan said.
The conference’s wide range of sessions included:
- Can Parking Your Car Improve Your Mood? Exploring the Effects of Parking on Mental Health
- Global Trends in Parking, Transportation, & Mobility
- Event Parking: True Success Is Beyond the Lots
- Think Small: Toronto’s Cargo Bike Mini Hubs Tackle the Last Mile Challenge
The event’s most popular sessions this year zeroed in on concerns for the future, including digital infrastructure for curb management — on-street parking, bus stops, outdoor seating, loading zones, and pedestrians all “fight for space at the curb,” Pagan said — and challenges brought on by the growth of electric bikes and cars.
“Parking” means coming to a full stop, but IPMI’s members keep moving forward. “Our professionals manage this dynamic environment,” Pagan said, “accommodating rapid changes in both society and technology.”
Casey Gale is managing editor at Convene. Illustration by Carmen Segovia
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