Driverless Smart Cars and Public Spaces
Solar Mobile Device Charging Station
Neighborhood Parklet
Interlude Bus Shelter
Urban Art

What does Airbnb, Urber, Lyft, Micro apartments, the Iphone Watch and driverless smart cars share in common? They’re disruptive technologies that are changing the world around us. New products such as parklets, repurposed artifacts, pedestrian friendly solar mobile device charging stations, stylish transportation shelters and visual branding are beginning to have the same impacts.
According to Martin Melosi in a study titled “Automobile Shapes The City”, approximately 40% of a cities are devoted to streets and parking. Experts are predicting that driverless smart cars, perhaps within the next five years or less will significantly reduce the amount of space needed for roads and parking.
The surplus of roads and parking lots will provide an opportunity to reclaim public spaces for pedestrians, recreational activities, biking and cycling and addressing the demand for more new urban public spaces. On a small scale, parklets have already began that trend. Parklets in combination with solar powered charging stations for mobile devices and other interactive pedestrian experiences will change the way we interact in public spaces.

 Currently first mile and last mile connectivity to public transportation is still a challenge, but future pedestrian improvements, expanding bike and cycling infrastructure along with visionary imagination will solve that problem.  Attractive neighborhood passenger shelters, compact vertical bike parking, bicycle parking facilities and new styles of bike racks will transform our ability to close the first mile – last mile connectivity issues.
While Airbnb is turning the traditional vacation lodging industry on it’s head, micro apartments are challenging the notion that bigger is better. Micro apartments are expanding the need for public spaces to contain purposeful and interesting design, colorful objects and visually pleasing and experiential engagement. Communal tables, interactive street art and new public amenities will transform staid and stogy public spaces into energetic engaging places. 

What's next? Who knows. But stay tuned.  The future is full of exciting changes.