In the future, roadwork might look a lot different than it does today. Instead of ripping up pavement and replacing it with more static asphalt, imagine a world where roads are built from modular, reconfigurable pieces of pavement that slot into place like puzzle pieces.
The Dynamic Street prototype, now on view at Sidewalk Labs’ Toronto workspace, centers around “pavers,” 4-foot hexagonal pieces that are designed to be picked up and moved around with little effort.
Ratti and his team created a series of wooden modules that are embedded with lights that could help direct vehicle and pedestrian traffic, as well as designate bike lanes or hazard zones. The pavers have “plug and play” holes, which allow things like bike racks, bollards, and sign posts to be inserted. In the future, the modules will be built from concrete.
Dynamic Streets is a continuation of the Removable Urban Pavement project, a research project in Nantes, France, that’s exploring the benefits of modular pavement. Ratti’s vision is similar—it’s a play at convenience, but also at future-proofing infrastructure, which is bound to rapidly change as our cities get “smarter” and our cars drive themselves.
Via: Architect Magazine