SIDEWALK Toronto

Sustainability problem: Cities that were designed for a different workforce and technology landscape need to be upgraded to be more efficient, comfortable, safe, human and environment focussed.

They are designing a district in Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront to tackle the challenges of urban growth, working in partnership with the tri-government agency Waterfront Toronto and the local community. This joint venture, called Sidewalk Toronto, aims to make Toronto the global hub for urban innovation.

171012_Sustainability.pngTechnology:

They are deploying multiple technologies aimed at various segments of urban innovation. Such as:

  • Self-driving technology and digital navigation tools can give rise to a next-generation, point-to-point transit system that complements pedestrian, cycling, and bus or rail options to improve convenience, reduce costs, and enhance street safety.
  • Better data integration, combined with more accessible community hubs that offer a variety of local services, enable a comprehensive approach to social and community services that delivers better outcomes to people at lower cost.
  • At the core of a future city is a layer of digital infrastructure that provides ubiquitous connectivity for all, offers new insights on the urban environment, and encourages creation and collaboration to address local challenges.

And many more.

Stakeholders:

  • City government
  • District Mayors office
  • Departments of transportation, housing, industry, technology,
  • Citizens
  • Urban designers, planners, technology specialists

171012_Mobility

Next steps:

For now they have set up 3 main initiatives:

1. Sense: this is a pilot lab focussed on using data driven technology to makeintersections, parks and open spaces more valuable and safe. For instance, tech-enabled signals could slow down vehicle traffic if average car speeds at a given intersection exceeded 20 mph (the threshold at which collisions with pedestrians become more deadly) or if they recorded a high number of near-misses. They could also hold crosswalk signals to leave more time for children, the elderly, or the disabled. If combined with new alert systems, in-car systems, or V2X technology, they could also potentially give drivers a more direct warning of pedestrians or cyclists in the area.

2. Model: This pilot lab explores tools that helps communities build consensus on sustainability, affordability and transportation needs. For instance, When cities tackle transportation problems, they create simulation models in which travelers move about cities: going to work, dropping children off at school, running errands. These simulations are based on theories of traveler behavior developed and tested by academics and practitioners. For example, one theory posits that travelers consider every minute waiting for a bus about twice as annoying as every minute riding on a bus. These theories are tested and calibrated against survey data collected by the Census Bureau and local governments. Once the simulations do an adequate job of replicating what’s happening today, they modify model inputs to simulate what might happen five, 10, or 20 years from now. These inputs may include a new transit service or wider roadways or higher bridge tolls or myriad other policy and planning ideas. The goal is to learn how people may benefit from, or be burdened by, these changes.

3. Host townhall meetings for citizens to share their ambitions, visions and input for their district.

What really dug into my curiously lens was how such an integrated approach to sustainability in cities can be done, particularly in older cities/neighbourhoods.

Also curious about how cities that cannot afford the retrofitting fees that come with this, can still bring about change in perhaps smaller ways but keeping the overall vision in perspective.

https://www.sidewalklabs.com/

https://sidewalktoronto.ca/

Comment on another post: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/25/worlds-first-negative-emissions-plant/comment-page-1/#comment-1277

vk2384

 

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