New York City has, for decades, been one of the world' s most important cities. It is the financial center of the world, a home for the major media companies, and is a cultural and fashion core, to only touch the surface. Over 7.3 million people call the City home. Even more commute into New York each day to take advantage of its many business opportunities. With so many people and vehicles making use of the city's streets, it is imperative that these streets accommodate the pedestrian and the driver in the most effective and convenient way.

A study of the City's current street furniture (street furniture being any thing or object added to the street for the purpose of enhancement) proves that it barely serves the needs of the people. Garbage cans overflow into the street, telephones are consistently broken, streets are congested, signs are vandalized, illegible or otherwise missing, sidewalks are dirty; in general, the streets are not suitable for today' s needs.

Furthermore, the streets do not take advantage of the latest available technology. Variable message signs could more then replace the street and traffic signs of today. With the use of satellites and the capability of cellular phones, the payphone of today should already be a thing of the past. With the technological advances being made today, and the possibilities that will arise tomorrow, the street that is possible will far surpass the outdated street we still use. We envision the "Smart Street". A futuristic street that will fill all pedestrian and drivers needs and more.

Such a street will put both general and vital information at your fingertips. You will always know what time it is, what the temperature is and where you are. You will be able to check on your house, where your kids are and what they are doing. You can have a business conference with a colleague in Tokyo. Anything you need can be bought in one place. Anything that a person has ever wanted from a street will be available.

The report which follows is a preliminary report and the basis for such a street. It begins by addressing the needs of a person using the streets, whether it be pedestrian or driver. It then discusses the inadequacies of today' s attempts at servicing these needs. The report then allows for a glimpse at what can be expected from a Smart Street.

Finally, we touch on the aspect of revenue. A lot of money stands to be made from a street with such advances. This portfolio and report really serve to spark the imagination of the reader. By pointing out the needs of a typical person utilizing a street, and by showing the shortcomings of today's streets, we hope to realize the Smart Street of tomorrow.

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Copyright © 1996 Cooper Union Smart Street Project Team
Last modified Monday, April 8, 1996