If asked, what would most Charlestonians say is the biggest hot button topic in transportation? The answer is parking, according to UCLA research professor of urban planning and parking guru, Donald Shoup. (Source: CityLab) HAH Parking, a Charleston based company, is proposing a smart city solution in order to use space more efficiently and solve the city’s parking issues. 

Smart cities use technology to improve the quality of life and HAH Parking (stands for How About Here) is proposing just that. HAH is a mobile app that allows drivers to rent parking space from private space owners...and it is now available in Charleston. 

Drivers can reserve their space ahead of time or book instantly by the hour, day, or month, thereby taking the stress out of parking, which has long since been an issue in downtown Charleston, as with most cities around the world. The company’s goal is to use space more efficiently. This means people renting their driveway, garage, yard or any underutilized space to drivers who need parking. The company states it is a win-win for everyone. Drivers find parking near their destination quickly, easily, and in real-time, thereby drastically reducing traffic congestion. Local space owners earn money for space that would otherwise sit empty. Consider the downtown homeowner who works Monday-Friday from 9-5, who can list their driveway when they’re not using it and earn extra money. Consider the local business owner who closes shop Friday evening and has space that sits empty all weekend until Monday morning. Cities unlock a completely new network of available parking spaces without investing in costly infrastructure.The environment benefits because there are fewer cars circling the block in search of that elusive parking spot. This means less carbon emissions being emitted into the environment and when people save time and money, we’re all happier, healthier, and have a greater sense of community. 

Charleston based owners and brothers, Rocky and Victor Vitali state, “The problem is not the lack of available space, but rather the inefficient use and management of the space we already have.” Together, HAH aims to make the most efficient use of underutilized off-street and on-street parking in both the private and the public sector. The owners state there is more than enough parking in Charleston and the HAH app has the ability to show locals and tourists exactly how to find and pay for parking closest to their destination. 

Others are seeing the potential in smart parking solutions in cities where parking is anything but smart. Leading Cities and AcceliCITY recently announced HAH Parking qualified as a semi-finalist in the AcceliCITY Smart City Competition. More than 500 organizations participated from 43 countries. After a rigorous application process, HAH Parking was selected as one of the “50 of the world’s most promising solutions to improve the delivery of services and the quality of life in cities” (leadingcities.org). 

Whether listing or booking a space, HAH makes it easy for drivers to find the parking they need and local space owners maximize the efficient use of their space. It’s a sharing economy where people, cities, and the environment all benefit.

It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s HAH Parking. For more information, visit them on Facebook at HAH Parking and on Instagram @hahparking. The app can be downloaded in the App Store under HAH Parking.