A project has surfaced that views the concept of active streetscapes that can be reconfigured in real-time, according to changing traffic conditions. Named The Dynamic Street, the design shows a prototype for what the streets of the future could look like.
Carlo Ratti Associati, working in collaboration with Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, has unveiled their design for a modular paving system named The Dynamic Street. Intended to make streets “reconfigurable, safer and more accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and tomorrow’s self-driving vehicles,” the project is on display at Sidewalk Lab’s office and experimentation space in Toronto until late 2018.
Manifesting as a series of hexagonal modular pavers, the project explores the various patterns that can be created by reconfiguring modules, with the potential to allow for “a street to create an extra car lane during rush hour, then turning into a pedestrian-only plaza in the evening”.
The prototype contains embedded lights in all 232 modules that are capable of communicating crossings, pick-up zones and other uses. Potential also exists for each module to host a “plug and play element”, including poles, bollards or basketball hoops. Visitors to the prototype have the opportunity to play on a digital reconfigurator, demonstrating the project’s flexibility by creating their own urban scenarios.
“The Dynamic Street creates a space for urban experimentation,” explained Professor Carlo Ratti, founder of Carlo Ratti Associati. “With this project, we aim to create a streetscape that responds to citizens’ ever-changing needs. We are excited to work with Sidewalk Labs, as we explore a new integration between the road as a physical space and digital technologies.
For the project’s development, Carlo Ratti Associati worked in collaboration with Sidewalk Labs, and Pac Team.