City Tickets: Reprogrammed Parking Pay Machine

Mayo Nissen (left) and Brian Del Vecchio (right) at work reprogramming a Multispace Parking Pay Unit
Mayo Nissen (left) and Brian Del Vecchio (right) at work reprogramming a Multispace Parking Pay Unit

City: Boston
Created by: Mayo Nissen, with thanks to JD Hollis and Brian Del Vecchio

Parking meters keep watch over the passage of time in the city; and the city has watched as the passage of time has changed them. Long gone are the days when inserted a coin, ratcheted the knob and a marker popped up to tick away your allotted time. The clock dials gave way to digital countdowns, and individual meters gave way to the tall heavy structures that now run the racket for entire blocks; in some cities, no meter is needed at all as you can now pay for your spot directly from your smartphone.

But should these expensive units, packed with networking ability, payment systems, solar panels and computing power, and situated on every block, only be relevant to those looking for somewhere to park their vehicle, or should they be there for every person who shares the city with them?
City Tickets is one idea.

As its designer Mayo Nissen explains, “City Tickets is an exploration into how existing urban infrastructure can be repurposed to better serve all of the citizens of the city in which it is installed. Physical infrastructure is a tremendous resource and asset to the city, but as technology and priorities change, new approaches should be considered to make the best use of the existing ‘physical stock’ of the city.”

City Tickets proposes one option for the future of Multi-Space parking terminals, reframed as City Meters. As well as parking receipts, the meters dispense City Ticket Lists, with known issues that have been reported to the City authorities by phone, from Twitter, in person, or via the terminal itself. Also available are City Ticket Reports, allowing passersby to submit issues or make suggestions for improving the immediate area.

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