Street Design Principles by Sidewalk Labs

Sidewalk Labs, a smart cities shop within the Alphabet corporate structure, is working to revolutionize technology's role in city planning. Sidewalk Labs recently released the street design principles it's using to guide that effort.

1 minute read

May 1, 2019, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Street Design

La Citta Vita / Flickr

"Sidewalk Labs, the smart cities arm of Google parent company Alphabet, has released a set of design principles to make streets safer and more efficient as new mobility technologies come online," reports Jason Plautz.

Willa Ng laid out the four principles in a blog post posted on Medium. According to Ng, Sidewalk Labs is attempting to push the current era of critical thinking about streets (in the era of building political support for complete streets and the dawn of autonomous vehicles).

Here are the four principles Sidewalk Labs is using to guide street designs:

  • Principle 1: Tailor streets for different modes.
  • Principle 2: Separate streets by speed.
  • Principle 3: Incorporate flexibility into street space.
  • Principle 4: Recapture street space for the public realm, transit, bikes, and pedestrians.

As noted by Plautz, Sidewalk Labs will get a chance to test its principles with the Quayside development, moving forward in Toronto despite controversy. There's also a full report on the design principles

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