Sunday, August 12, 2012

The future of city sidewalks and streets

 "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." -Alan Kay

"Streets make up approximately 25% of the City's land area and yet, outside of parks there are few places to sit, rest, socialize, and to enjoy public life." NYC DOT

"... for the last 50 years, city streets have been managed less for the benefit of neighborhoods they serve and more for the traffic passing through them. . . Although most of its residents travel by foot, transit or bicycle New York City streets prioritize drivers" -- Blueprint for the Upper West Side

Driverless Cars

In the not too distant future there will be major changes in how our streets are used:

                                                         Google Driverless car demo

-Currently people tend to own and drive cars. In the not too distant future cars will be driving themselves

 According to predictions released by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE, autonomous cars will account for up to 75 percent of vehicles on the road by the year 2040 link

Driverless cars will be much safer and significantly reduce accidents...
 "In the US, where the state of Nevada is the first to have licensed autonomous cars, analyst Celent is predicting that driverless cars could contribute to reducing motor premiums by up to 80% within 10 years, Lloyds reports." link

   Peak Oil: We're Running out of Cheap Oil


-In the not too distant future we will be running out of  cheap oil  even Shell Oil is admitting this. .  The reason for expensive oil is  because  oil production through the world is declining as demand is still increasing.   Because of this   some  people  will  stop driving, others will abandon older gas vehicles and switch to ones that run on  natural gas and electric. The replacement cars will be....

Much Smaller Cars
-Right now people purchase cars that seat 4-5 people whether they need a car that large or not.  

In the future we can expect that a significant percentage of  large  private cars will be replaced by much smaler  2 passenger cars. We also see these cars being driverless. Rather then owing a car people will simply request a driverless car in a similar fashion to calling a car service.

                                                   The Hiriko, three of these cars will fit in one parking spot!

Currently our streets our taken up by cars parked on them. When the day comes when most people no longer own cars, the parking spaces on our streets will be freed up to. At these trends start to play out, the future will become the past and major parts of our streets will once again be freed for use by neighborhood residents

Early 1900's NYC when Parking day was everyday

Our sidewalks used to be our playgrounds, at some point in the coming driverless car revolution, our sidewalks will once again become our playgrounds

Giving the children the freedom to play safely on their own doorstep, the women agreed, would be good for all of them. Both claim that laziness as well as conscientious objection inform their reluctance to spend hours ferrying children to and from organised activities. "The idea of being able to open the front door and out they go with no hassle is so appealing," says Alice.

Reclaiming our streets for kids