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.