Sidewalk Talk

Sidewalk Talk

Street Life After Retail: 5 Scenarios That Imagine the Future

A visual tour of how e-commerce and digitization might impact city streetscapes—for better or worse.

Eric Baczuk, Johanna Greenbaum, and Jesse Shapins
9 Sep

Zoning: The Legal and Social Codes of Urban Planning

What began as a policy innovation to help organize cities has contributed to segregation and severe housing shortages.

Edited by Eric Jaffe
9 Sep
15 Innovations That Shaped the City

Shipping Containers: A Big Box Full of Contradictions

Containerization transformed everything from the urban labor force to suburban shopping.

Edited by Eric Jaffe
9 Sep
Urban history series

15 Innovations That Shaped the City

A Sidewalk Talk series that explores some of the major advances in urban technology, design, and policy across history — from Roman sewers to real-time transit.

Eric Jaffe
9 Sep
15 Innovations That Shaped the City

Traffic Signals: Catalyst of Car-Driven Cities

Traffic lights did make city intersections safer for cars, but they came at the expense of pedestrian freedom.

Edited by Eric Jaffe
9 Sep
15 Innovations That Shaped the City

Sanitation Systems: The Original Clean Tech

The Ancient Romans first tackled sewage systems, but it took a cholera outbreak for 19th-century London to master them.

Edited by Eric Jaffe
9 Sep
15 Innovations That Shaped the City

Elevators: How Cities Rose to the Occasion

Elevators proved to be a primary engine of urban density over the last century, boosting economies of scale for big cities and redefining urban life.

Edited by Eric Jaffe
9 Sep
Smart City Challenge

Sidewalk and the city of Columbus are exploring ways to reduce infant mortality by improving transportation options.

Willa Ng, Corinna Li, Richard Sun
8 Aug
Prototype

We held a one-week design sprint to build a smart trash chute. Here’s what we learned

The path to a more sustainable city goes right through the multi-family waste room.

Jesse Shapins and Matt Breuer
8 Aug
Blog Post

Making the most of city parks and the public realm means learning more about how people use them.

Making the most of city parks and the public realm means learning more about how people use them.

Rohit T. Aggarwala
6 Jun

The future of urban sustainability is renewable district energy

New design innovations can dramatically reduce the need for fossil fuels to help heat or cool a building.

Rohit T. Aggarwala and Jim Kapsis
6 Jun
Blog Post

Driving costs are hidden. Revealing them could help reduce traffic

Navigation apps that show the true cost of a trip might nudge people into making a different decision.

Willa Ng
6 Jun
Open-Source Tool

A first step toward creating a digital planning laboratory is populating it

Introducing Doppelgänger, Model Lab’s open-source population synthesizer.

David Ory
6 Jun
META

The Sidewalk Weekly Newsletter Archive

Never again wonder what we were thinking, doing, and reading about the future of cities on a given week.

Eric Jaffe
5 May
Blog Post

A key to democratizing urban solutions is building better models

By relying on sharper data, new approaches to modeling can lead to faster policies and greater consensus.

Nick Chim and David Ory
4 Apr
Blog Post

The next-generation intersection helps all modes share the street

Emerging traffic technologies promise to improve safety while moving everyone — not just drivers.

Willa Ng
3 Mar
MAP DEMO

How the L train shutdown will impact your commute

Our NYC Transit Explorer shows how long it takes to get anywhere in the city by bus or subway. Even during L-mageddon.

Dan Vanderkam
2 Feb
GUEST POST

The transformative potential of real-time transportation coordination

By Kevin Webb

Kevin Webb
1 Jan
Blog Post

The way to healthier cities goes beyond healthcare

Improving urban health outcomes requires dramatically better access, and a commitment to addressing the underlying social and environmental factors.

Mat Balez, Shaina Doar, and Lindsay Ullman
12 Dec