Reimagining our public streets
Ford’s latest initiative envisions human-centered design in every aspect of our public spaces
When you picture a city of the future, is it full of flying cars and robots zipping around your house, à la the Jetsons? Or maybe it’s an entire family on e-bikes, commuting through a city that’s more green than concrete. At Ford, it’s less about whizzing gadgets and more about the people who live and work in urban areas. For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population now resides in cities. While the benefits of city living are numerous, with it also comes congestion, pollution, and gridlock.
To combat these issues, Ford envisioned a City of Tomorrow, their plan for a more coordinated transportation ecosystem with mobility advancements for all. Streets make up 20-30% of our city spaces, but they don’t always put people first. That’s why Ford is sparking conversations with organizations across the country to reimagine our public spaces.
“How do we not only think about the vehicles, but what are the actual spaces we want to create?“ asks Aniela Kuzon, Global Lead for City:One Innovation Ford Mobility. City:One is Ford’s latest initiative to transform cities by solving mobility problems one person at a time. Whether that means improving existing public transit or removing physical barriers that prevent people from getting somewhere, Ford is seeking innovative solutions from its own engineers, everyday pedestrians, and outside organizations.
One of these organizations is CicLAvia, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that seeks to transform busy, car-clogged streets into a vibrant community with meaningful connections for its citizens. “I think a lot of folks think that our streets are only for cars, but they’re also for movement of people,” says Romel Pascual, its Executive Director. To prove that point, the organization will temporarily close streets to cars and invite Angelenos to walk, skate, dance, or bike in their new public park. It’s events and efforts like these that allow people to see their city through new eyes.
“It’s super exciting to see how many ways we can really leverage streets to give them back to people at Ford Mobility,” says Kuzon. While we may not see flying cars in the near future, removing barriers to mobility, revitalizing our public spaces, and strengthening our community ties are all part of Ford’s City of Tomorrow.