Attracting Amazon: How Smart Cities will host the next Amazon Headquarters

 Amazon’s recent announcement that they will build a 2nd Headquarters in another city in North America (outside Seattle), spending $5 billion to build a campus and creating 50,000 jobs, has started a frenzy among city leaders. Of course, Amazon isn’t looking to build just anywhere; they have a long list of requirements for the proper city, according to MarketWatch.

  • The greater metropolitan area must have over 1 million residents.
  • The business environment must be stable.
  • The location needs to have the potential to attract and train strong technical talent.
  • Communities should think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options (emphasis mine).

 These days even fairly small cities are part of collective greater metropolitan areas with over 1 million people, there are over 50 of these in the United States. A stable business environment is a core function of good municipal government. But what can a city do to attract and retain talented professionals, and how can it think big and creatively in finding good locations for a huge corporate campus?

 One answer is smart parking. A smart parking solution like Streetline’s can provide real time guidance to motorists looking for available parking, and allow merchants to promote open parking spaces on their websites. This connecting of residents with local downtown businesses with services like ParkerMap helps create a thriving nightlife and shopping district that in turn attracts well-heeled young professionals with strong technical talent.

 Smart parking in park and ride lots, in conjunction with city governments using smart parking to optimize their public transportation systems, can also make mass transit far more effective. Government analytics derived from smart parking data can help plan and approve mixed-use developments with fewer but more optimized parking spaces, which in turn can create more housing near big corporate campuses like Amazon is looking to create.

 Amazon is looking for a city willing to try big and creative solutions to be a good partner. Smart parking is one of those solutions. Finally, even if Amazon fails to pick your city, smart parking could help attract or even incubate the next Amazon.