SARAH HOLDER – MAY 3, 2019 A much-anticipated CDC report on the safety of dockless electric scooters in Austin, Texas, finds an alarming percentage of head injuries after crashes. At the annual Epidemic Intelligence Service conference in Atlanta this week, the Centers for Disease Control and … Continue reading Scooters Wouldn’t Be So Dangerous If You Just Wore a Helmet
By David Roberts Apr 9, 2019 https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/4/9/18300797/barcelona-spain-superblocks-urban-plan This is part two in a five-part series about the comprehensive urban plan being implemented in Barcelona, Spain, which would reclaim more than half the streets now devoted to cars for mixed-use public spaces, or “superblocks.” This reporting project was supported by … Continue reading Barcelona wants to build 500 superblocks. Here’s what it learned from the first ones.
JARED BREY APRIL 11, 2019 Late last month, the New Orleans City Council unanimously approved an inclusionary zoning policy requiring that developers provide some affordable units in the city’s strongest housing markets. In “core” neighborhoods like the French Quarter and the Central Business District, … Continue reading New Orleans Adopts a Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning Law
BY SAMUEL STEIN 03.12.2019 – jacobinmag apitalism and state planning have a complicated relationship. Capitalist ideology insists that markets are the best mechanism for economic, social, and environmental decision-making, and that consumer choice is the fairest and most efficient arbiter of public will. Deregulation has been … Continue reading Gentrification Is a Feature, Not a Bug, of Capitalist Urban Planning
SARAH GOODYEAR JUN 29, 2015 BSMART helps the Chattanooga police give the local three-foot passing law some teeth. Maybe your state is one of the more than two dozen around the U.S. with what is known as a three-foot passing law—a provision that requires drivers to give … Continue reading A Nifty Device to Stop Cars From Driving Too Close to Bikes
LAURA BLISS – MAR 13, 2019 Cities are desperate to tame the sidewalk chaos of the e-scooter industry. One startup offers a solar-powered parking solution. To understand the promise and peril of dockless scooters, look at Austin, Texas. This week, at least 9,000 of the zippy … Continue reading The Hot New Thing in Dockless Electric Scooters: Docks
BY JOHN RENNIE SHORT Many U.S. cities today promote biking and walking, but streets have actually become more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Here’s what needs to change. As cities strive to improve the quality of life for their residents, many are working to promote … Continue reading The urban design problem that’s killing pedestrians and cyclists
FEARGUS O’SULLIVAN – City Lab Take a look at the trains that will modernize France’s rail fleet and prepare the national provider to take on its first-ever competitors. While high-speed trains are struggling to gain a foothold in some parts of the world (looking at … Continue reading The Cheaper, Greener Future of France’s High-Speed Trains
A designer relies on exploration and the knowledge of locals to create a unique series of maps. LINDA POON – NOV 10, 2015 When we aren’t sure how to get somewhere, our first instinct is to plug the address into a GPS gadget and let the program … Continue reading Maps Made ‘From the Mind,’ Not From GPS
Carlo Ratti Associati and Sidewalk Labs Create Dynamic Street Prototype
The modular system aims to make streets safer and more accessible to pedestrians.
By AYDA AYOUBI
International design and innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA), in collaboration with Toronto-based Sidewalk Labs, has designed Dynamic Street, a modular prototype of a reconfigurable paving system that, according to CRA, could potentially make streets safer and more accessible to pedestrians. An installation showcasing this prototype is currently on view at 307, Sidewalk Labs’ central office in Toronto.
Offering an alternative to the current traffic systems, signs, and street markings, this adaptable road structure uses embedded lights to distinguish various traffic zones. Due to its modular design, each section of pavement can be easily moved around or replaced. For example, the system could “create an extra car lane during rush hour but then [turn] into a pedestrian-only plaza in the evening,” according to a CRA press release.
Made up of 232 hexagonal pavers, each measuring 4 feet in diameter, the installation is assembled over a 2,500-square-foot surface, simulating a 36-foot-wide street. Some tiles feature a plug-and-play system that demonstrate the potential for vertical structures, such as bollards and poles, to be easily installed on the pavers. Visitors to this exhibition can engage in creation of the Dynamic Street by modifying the system through a digital application.
“The Dynamic Street creates a space for urban experimentation,” CRA founder Carlo Ratti said in a press release. “With this project, we aim to create a streetscape that responds to citizens’ ever-changing needs.”
“As autonomous vehicles are likely to start running on streets soon, this project helps us to imagine a more adaptable road infrastructure,” CRA project manager Emma Greer said in the same release. “Self-driving cars will change both the number of lanes and the amount of parking we will need. The Dynamic Street explores a flexible platform that allows people to see how technology can evolve and respond to different conditions.”
These modules are currently made of wood, but the team expects to have them made of more durable materials such as concrete or rubber in the future.