From 12-15 October, Sydney’s Alfred Street near Circular Quay was transformed into a street of the future as part of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ 2017 International Festival.
In partnership with AILA, Smart Cities Council and the Internet of Things Alliance Australia, Place Design Group conceptualised and led the design to deliver a real-life experience of a street from the future.
The idea behind the Future Street project is to visually showcase innovative ideas around how landscape, infrastructure and technology can advance our cities, suburbs and towns to become more liveable, productive and sustainable. The conceptual design represents how the future may look, and arguably will need to look, in response to opportunities created by the introduction of autonomous vehicles, smart city technology, urban agriculture and urban landscape imperatives. It tests the possibilities of if we were to dedicate less of our public spaces to cars and return them for people use, both for new and different mobility options, but also to live and enjoy our cities and streets.
The street features four stages, starting with “Today Street”, a replica of the design, delivery and organisation of streets in many cities around Australia and globally, where cars are prioritised over people and nature.
Following through to “Green Street”, car access is removed, prioritising people, cycling and public transport with landscape and nature reintroduced. As the urban population grows and we head towards a more urbanised and vertical way of living, private green space will become less available and the importance of public open space will increase in its social and community value.
“Complete Street” envisions a balance of people and transport, featuring a fruit orchard, bike and car share options and a coffee cart to represent potential retail offerings. A complete street seeks to provide opportunities for all users, be they pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, public transport users and operators, or delivery drivers, while incorporating green areas to create vibrant, social spaces.
The final physical street “Smart Street” illustrates what the future of our streets might look like as technology and new transport modes enable a re-imagining of mobility. It tests a proposition about how autonomous and connected vehicles and the internet of things will unlock productive, efficient spaces in and around our streets, using technology as an enabler to create safer, more liveable public spaces.
The journey concludes with a virtual reality experience, with VR goggles on offer to see a future street from 2037 – see for yourself via this link!
Given the reception and popularity received in Sydney, we’re excited to see what the future has in store for Future Street!