The Streets We Choose

Our vision is to liberate the spaces between our buildings - even busy thoroughfares like the Euston Road – for the benefit of all. In our vision, this space belongs to all and responds via an app to the needs and wishes of those around it – flexible streets 24/7.
Autonomous vehicles and AI will enable us not only to reduce the amount of space for vehicles - liberating it for alternative uses - but also to manage minute-by-minute the street space and movement capacity, enabling fluid use of unused road space, across the network.
Imagine children playing in the middle of Euston Road, New York’s Fifth Avenue or Paris’s Champs-Élysées. Imagine the complete lack of any vehicles, even on the busiest roads. The very same roads where people could practice yoga in the morning, have lunch on green meadows at noon and watch a movie in movable pods at night. Imagine that our congested streets become nomadic landscapes responding to our continuously changing needs. Cities could become an ever-changing pop-up theatre.  
In a smart city, streets and public spaces will be fluid, transformable and pollution free. AVs will give us the opportunity to change our streetscapes and rebalance their amenity. This will shift our current perception towards streets and promote long term wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle. 
Transitions between the phases will be smooth, responsive, and as frequent as we want, controlling the vehicular movement. This will collectively re-shape the nature of the streets through an app with a voting system. 
Local communities can decide what they need, e.g. at what part of what day they want their street closed for any traffic and the mobile park is delivered.  Suddenly, every house has a park address for a period. Social infrastructure will be made more accessible and citizen-led initiatives can request for mobile wellbeing and healthcare facility, a library or even a mobile pirate play area.
In this democratic society, we will be enabled to make our own choices for our outside space.
During the night streets could become surface AV parks, situated close to the morning users thereby minimising AV travel time. AV pods could also be used as sleep cabins, nomadic hotels, or offices; more of a social space and not only as a means of transport.
This adaptive and people-centric streetscape will, with time, establish efficient patterns of redistribution of assets to where they are needed. Looking ahead, the new street mobility will bring opportunities in suitable business models for streets and public spaces, maintenance, and governance. 
Our vision is for all our streets and public spaces to be shaped by citizens.  
People will retake possession of the streets, using a bottom-up approach, the opposite of the current top-down decision model applied by governments and transport organisations. 
With the best use of technology to reclaim our streets, the new urban dynamic should create a stronger society - a society celebrating human interaction and responding to the needs of the local community, reclaiming our streets as people places.
(Team: Katerina Karaga, Giulia Robba, Jaewon Shin, Daria Zakharova, Edward Powe)
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