SEMINAR - Where Did I Leave My Chariot? The Curious History of Parking from Ancient Rome to Tomorrow's Megacities: A Sociotechnical Exploration of a Pervasive Cultural Artifact

Event Date: November 1, 2012
Speaker: Mary Smith, Senior Vice President and Director of Parking Consulting, Walker Parking Consultants, and John Collier, Director of Campus Master Planning, Purdue University
Time: 3:30-4:30pm
Location: Armstrong Hall atrium
Contact Name: Lisa Tally
Contact Phone: 494-9391
Contact Email:

"Parking has been a problem ever since Julius Caesar banned chariots from downtown Rome." ―Eran Ben-Joseph

A boon to business development? A blight on the urban and suburban landscapes? In this year’s Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium, we consider parking from both technological and cultural perspectives: how garages are designed—or not—for economy, safety, aesthetics, efficiency, and environmental impact, and how the necessity to park one’s car affects where and how we travel and shop, when we leave the office, even which vehicles we buy (electric or no?). Much more than meets the eye, parking is a lens through which to explore the global grand challenges of urbanization and energy.

Our panel discussion will examine parking globally and at the local level, exploring trends in parking design around the world, how the automobile and accompanying need for parking has changed Purdue’s physical environment over the years, and how new transportation systems and societal expectations will shape the future.