The Future Street is a conceptual visualisation of how our streets of the future may look, and arguably will need to look, responding to opportunities created by the introduction of autonomous vehicles, smart city technology, urban agriculture and urban landscape imperatives. It tests the possibilities, if we dedicate less of our public spaces to cars and return them for people to use. Both for new and different mobility options, but also to live and enjoy our cities and streets.
The Future Street project has been designed by Place Design Group to showcase innovative ideas around landscape, infrastructure and technology to make our cities, suburbs and towns more liveable, productive and sustainable. The Future Street installation is facilitating a unique multi-disciplinary and multi-sector gathering of urban leaders who are seeking to reimagine the role of the street in the future, and who are aspiring to bring the green street, complete street, and smart street agenda’s together.
Internet of Things
The interconnection (via the Internet) of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.
The Internet of Things (IoT) Lounge is the nerve centre and data hub of the Future Street Project. The Lounge is home to digital dashboards displaying key data being collected from sensors in the street as well as a host of technology providers undertaking demonstration of emerging IoT and Smart City technology.
The Internet of Things in the context of the Future Street describes a network or sensors, cameras and devices embedded within the street, or common place items like light poles and bins. These sensors connect allowing the collection of data and control those items.
This section of the Future Street illustrates a proposition of what the future of our streets might look like if we removed car access, prioritised people, cycling and public transport, and reintroduced landscape and nature.
As the urban population grows and we head towards a more urbanised and vertical way of living, private green space will become less available and the importance of public open space will increase in its social and community value. This is where green streets can play a key role.
Green Streets can incorporate a wide variety of design elements including street trees, permeable pavements, bioretention, and swales. Although the design and appearance of green streets will vary, the functional goals are the same. For example, a Green Street could include a natural stormwater management device, be used for urban agriculture, provide space for large shady trees or simply have gardens and greenery to be enjoyed.
Green Streets will improve local air quality by providing interception of airborne particulates and shade for cooling. Importantly, Green Streets can act as a key linking component in community efforts to develop local green infrastructure networks and unite our communities with a common project and green connection.
This section of the Future Street illustrates a proposition of what the future of our streets might look like when we balance the importance of people and cars in a street.
A Complete Street is designed to balance the safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transport. It involves greening and beautifying the footpaths and public places, making meeting places more vibrant and appealing, and improving connections for cycling, walking and access to public transport. A complete street seeks to provide opportunities for all users, be they pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, public transport users and operators, or delivery drivers.
Streets are arguably the most important asset of a city, and a Complete Street facilitates opportunities to leverage this asset via new and enhanced retail uses, cultural and leisure experiences for example. It also provides opportunities for life to occur, be that community gatherings, commerce, public art, lighting or landscape.
Complete Streets stimulate economic growth by creating attractive places with greater street activity, increasing the number of potential customers passing shopfronts and the length of time spent in town centres.
This section of the Future Street illustrates our typical approach to the design, delivery and organisation of streets in many cities around Australia and globally.
We prioritise cars over people, trees and life. In most CBD’s, streets represent 30% of land across a city, with more than 50% of the space given away to move cars and buses. We protect their presence and have actively fostered a car centric culture.
Streets of Today with minimal street trees and vegetation can be 10 degrees hotter than equivalent streets that have greater focus on street trees and landscape. On top of this, air quality in streets full of cars and buses is much worse than in streets and spaces that have prioritised people and bikes over cars.
Streets are our most fundamental shared public spaces, but they are also one of the most contested and overlooked. Today, and for most of the last century, we have taken for granted the idea that our streets are primarily zones for cars, parking, and the transporting of goods.