Envisioning the Street of Tomorrow
This month, we collaborated with Ford Motor Company to unveil the “Street of Tomorrow” at the CES 2018 convention in Las Vegas. Beginning in 2017, Ford’s CEO announced turning from being a car-only company to a mobility company. The company has found that the advent of ride-share services, autonomous vehicles, and subscription-based automobiles have opened up a new paradigm in how people get around in cities, which has major implications on the future of the built environment.
We produced a parklet by rolling out green Astroturf with several rapidly assembled Wikiblock planters, benches, and tables. This showcased how residents could easily take back their streets. The space became the meeting place and gathering point for all who entered. The insertion of a green space for people to linger immediately humanized the area, and became a focal point for the exhibition.
This project got us thinking: what if we created a “mobility parklet” that would account for people wanting to dock their bicycles, charge their phones, wait for ride-share services or mass trasnit, or be dropped off by an autonomous vehicle? This platform could extend into an existing roadway, returning the streets for people, and showcasing how this intervention could be rapidly deployed using our Wikiblock toolset. Also, the preponderance of dockless bike companies has made it apparent that some thought must be given to how these services are arranged, accessed, and parked.
A mini-model of our Mobility Parklet, which we’ll debut on February 20.
Therefore, we decided to turn the idea into reality. We will officially unveil the parklet on February 20 in Dallas, complete with bicycle docking stations, and ride-share platforms in the historic Bishop Arts District alongside a panel discussion with elected officials and concerned citizens.
The work we began with Ford is also dovetailing with another project we’re working on, which not only focuses on future streets, but also on increasing health outcomes for residents. This work has a similar starting point from the ubiquity of ride-share services that are reshaping how people get in and out of places.