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City of the Future


Dec 4, 2020

The pandemic has forced us to reexamine and reimagine how we use one of our most precious public spaces: our streets. From outdoor dining to expanded bike lanes, cities have been re-designing streets so they can be better shared by all — drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. But could we take this idea even further? What if we could use design and technology to make our streets more flexible? So they could change use according to the season, the week, or even the hour? In our season finale, we explore a future where city streets can do just that — and better respond to all of our needs. 

In this episode:

  • [0:01 - 6:44] We meet with transit guru Gridlock Sam to talk about the history of political battles over New York City streets and the recent changes in response to Covid
  • [6:54 - 11:18] Aspen Director of Parking & Downtown Services Mitch Osur and Coord Head of Policy & Partnerships Dawn Miller explain how data is allowing cities to solve problems like traffic and curb congestion
  • [11:43 - 14:40] We visit Sidewalk Labs Senior Creative Technologist Nick Jonas to test out Pebble, a new technology for vehicle occupancy detection 
  • [16:23 - 23:43] Associate Director of Planning & Delivery Siqi Zhu and Director of Mobility Willa Ng imagine how our streets can adapt to be shared more equitably

To see images and videos of topics discussed in this episode, read the link-rich transcript on our Sidewalk Talk Medium page.

City of the Future is hosted by Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk, and produced by Benjamen Walker and Andrew Callaway. Mix is by Zach Mcnees. Art is by Tim Kau. Our music is composed by Adaam James Levin-Areddy of Lost Amsterdam. Special thanks to Sam Schwartz, Mitch Osur, Dawn Miller, Nick Jonas, Siqi Zhu, and Willa Ng.