Interview with Roamy Valera – President of NewTown Advisors
23 Apr 2018
We sat down with the President of NewTown Advisors Roamy Valera at this years International Parking Institute conference. Currently living in Miami, his day-to-day role allows him access to some of the leading trends in parking and smart cities, and it was insightful to get his opinion on a few popular questions.
What is your day-to-day role like?
It’s an interesting role. I represent clients in the Municipal and Institutional space; all parking and mobility. I wake up every day trying to figure out how I am going to give the clients I represent the best opportunities to grow their business and establish themselves within this space. Other than that, I deal with the typical calls, the typical news, and the typical emails — so I’m quite active.
Are you following the smart cities trend?
Yes, I am. In fact, at this past International Parking Institute (IPI) conference that was held in New Orleans, I spoke on the concept of the parking and mobility industry and the impact of the smart cities movement.
How would you personally define smart cities?
From a parking mobility perspective, the smart cities movement is the ability to use data analytics produced in the parking and mobility space to drive decisions, create policies, and adopt procedures based on the smarter approach. Furthermore, the mining and interpretation of the data will make the issues that have to do with mobility more visible to the end user.
What role do you see parking playing in the overall smart cities movement in the future?
A significant one. The reason is that parking mobility has visibility to movement—and the movement doesn’t have to be only automobiles or vehicles; it could be pedestrians, bike sharing, vehicle sharing, taxi cabs, and buses—these are all opportunities, these are all tricks that are generated by the end user. And, therefore, we are gathering that data in order to make different decisions.
What are the current trends that you’ve been following in the evolution of smart cities?
Many in the parking mobility space are making sure that their parking assets are visible to users; whether they want to drive to their destination, figure out where to park or how much it costs, or to make sure spaces are available to be used as desired, it’s important to be visible.
Do you have any predictions for smart cities in the next five to 10 years?
I think connectivity of cars is going to occur because there is a lot of data that is going to be shared among the users of the vehicles. But we’ll see parking mobility become much more visible to the end users through maps, apps, bike share, transportation rails, trains, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles.