Merge's Blog

Problem-solve by changing your frame of reference

StStephensSt. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, Hungary is a magnet for both tourists and the faithful.  Completed in 1905, it was built in the neoclassical style and incorporates a Greek cross floorplan.  In the first half of the 20th century, the charming square in front of the church was a place where people gathered and children played.  However, with the proliferation of the automobile, it eventually became an ugly parking lot.  Not only that, but there never seemed to be any spots available!  Increased parking enforcement only served to frustrate both visitors as well as parking control officers.  As the volume of traffic continued to rise in Budapest, city planners were faced with a challenging problem.  How could they accommodate the increasing need for vehicle parking, as well as return the Basilica and the Square to the charm of yesteryear.  Enter some creative thinking!

Click here to view how they did it. Note that the video will begin as soon as you land on the page, so turn your speakers on first.  It’s 4:57 in length, but stay to watch the whole thing, it’s fascinating! It will open in a new window, so once you’re done, just close the new Internet browser window to return to this blog.

City planners and consulting engineers changed their frame of reference.  Instead of trying to find more parking spaces, they instead sought a way to compact their needs.  As a result, they almost quadrupled their parking capacity.  If you’ve spent any time in Europe and Asia, then this solution may seem very obvious to you.  But at some point, someone had to think differently, someone had to put forward a different hypothesis.  When faced with a routine problem, it’s easy to get caught up in looking at it in the same old way.  What would happen if you looked at your problem differently?

Do you have any examples of problems you or your team were able to solve simply by changing your frame of reference!  Do tell!

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