How Do Smart Phones Affect Car Use, Street Networks and Urban Design?

The Car as Smartphone: Effects on the Built Environment and Sociality(22 page pdf, Ben Schulman, 2013)

Also discussed here: Are smartphones changing the geography of our cities?(Human Transit, Oct. 28, 2013)

And here: Grid Unlocked: How Street Networks Evolve as Cities Grow(Sarah Fecht, Scientific American, Apr. 6, 2012)

Today we review a paper on the changing impacts that the introduction of first cars and then smart phones and online devices have had and might have in the future on the design of street networks and of the city itself. Both cars and online devices serve a social communicative purpose. Cars move communications outward and encourage sprawl. The growth of smart phone use appears to be linked to the decline of car use and the tendency for more young people to live in the downtown core where they can communicate freely. Where the car changed street design from dense population cores with interdispersed parks and meeting places to street arteries and major roads to quickly exit the city, smart phones seem to have reversed this trend. Interesting!

street design

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE


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