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.
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
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.
Autonomous vehicles could save thousands of lives per year. Should the U.S. let them be tested on public streets? By Alissa Walker – Jul 25, 2018 By 2020, Waymo plans to make at least one million self-driving trips per day in the U.S.Waymo From ushering in … Continue reading Are self-driving cars safe for our cities?
The Baton Rouge Health District offers a holistic look at how to improve health care at all scales By Patrick Sisson Jul 25, 2018 Health care challenges are a hot topic in Louisiana’s capital. The United Health Care Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings 2015 report ranked the state in last … Continue reading How urban planners can promote health and wellness