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Old March 30th, 2016, 08:57 PM   #1
RandomDude01
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Why haven't city streets changed that much?

Some technologies have changed at a amazing pace like computers. While others remain relatively the same. One of the things that has remained the same is our city streets. For example here is New York City in 1974:

[IMG]https://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/2fl9DktNsdZNXc4ibjX9Upz6GGU=/800x0/filters:no_upscale%28%29/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/3779596/***********-537571797.0.jpg[/IMG]Other than the cars and the fashions changing much of the city streets look the same as today. The buildings, the street lights and signs, the sidewalks haven't changed that much in 40 years. While I was not alive back then I was hoping that by now our streets would be more futuristic looking. Something like this:


Why have our city streets not changed that much in over 40 years and when will we start having futuristic city streets like the one from the above picture?
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Old March 31st, 2016, 12:56 AM   #2
Uaarkson
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Uh, what? American streets changed tremendously in the 20th century. And with the coming of self-driving vehicles, they will probably change a lot in this century too.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 04:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomDude01 View Post
I was hoping that by now our streets would be more futuristic looking. Something like this:
Hopefully they wont.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 04:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomDude01 View Post
Something like this:


Why have our city streets not changed that much in over 40 years and when will we start having futuristic city streets like the one from the above picture?
But, if your concern is about futuristic street scenes, let me ask you, what is that different on that picture you posted, from the current city street?
You have a road, a sidewalk pavement. That's the same. You have a parked car, it looks sleek and modern, but fundamentally it's just a box on four wheels.
Then you look at the street facades. You have ordinary storefronts and signs.
So if you take away the supertall in the background, what is that futuristic? I would argue nothing.

There is a fundamental change from city streets of a hundred years ago with horse carriages and street vendors and coal deliveries for buildings, etc.
But from the 1950s to today, really, except perhaps certain kiosks and phone booths (which could just be repurposed), what really has changed that is not simply cosmetic?
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Old March 31st, 2016, 04:28 AM   #5
RandomDude01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uaarkson View Post
Uh, what? American streets changed tremendously in the 20th century. And with the coming of self-driving vehicles, they will probably change a lot in this century too.
I was expecting flying cars by now.
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Old April 1st, 2016, 09:27 PM   #6
meetthestreet
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Quote from RandomDude 01: I was hoping that by now our streets would be more futuristic looking. Something like this:


The "futuristic" photo appears to show a street in perpetual darkness submerged under an overhanging building. In the 1974 pic, people are enjoying a walk in the sunshine. Most city dwellers really appreciate access to sun and air. Also, while it may not be the intent of the rendering, background buildings appear to be singular towers rather than joined buildings of varying heights, textures, color, etc. The latter are much more conducive to a vibrant street life.
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Old April 1st, 2016, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomDude01 View Post
Why have our city streets not changed that much in over 40 years and when will we start having futuristic city streets like the one from the above picture?
Because there was no need for much change except for cosmetic one. Sidewalks and road pavements are more than good enough for our current needs so there was no point investing money in R&D and construction of unnecessary high tech pavements. Some experimental projects related do electric vehicles are being built in Europe but it is far from wide spread use.
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Old April 1st, 2016, 10:45 PM   #8
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I was expecting flying cars by now.
And who will drive flying cars? Regular cars are bad enough let alone a flying ones. First we need a driver-less fully automatic cars and computer controled traffic network.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 07:43 PM   #9
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You definitely can change it. To change the whole street view... you need to change the building along the street. So you need to take down the building along the street and start building it with new design building. Why the street haven't change that much? Because it is not practical to tore down all the well maintain building along the street and also it is too expensive.
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 02:57 AM   #10
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Well, streets do change over time, but depending on their function. I doubt there have been any technological advances since the introduction of asphalt and traffic lights and perhaps there won't be any soon.

Some interesting streets would probably be Venice's canals and the airplane suburb in USA (of which I can't remember the name).

Function-wise, in the last 100 years cities have removed many green spaces (tree rows, front gardens) and water (canals) to make room for more cars. But now they are slowly brought back in most Western countries + cycle paths get introduced.

For example, Moscow's wide streets once had a market in the center. Then they added extra lanes in place of it. Netherlands had canals which were transformed into urban highways and now get turned back into canals.

When driverless cars get introduced, I doubt it will change the streets. While traffic lanes could be narrowed to some 2,75 meters, there will still be trucks that need the wider lanes of around 3,5 meters. Traffic lights would also still probably be there, if only to separate pedestrians from cars (no longer separation by directions). One could get rid of traffic calming measures such as speed humps, but that's about it.

It's hard to imagine any technological advances that streets could need. Moving walkways? Just get a bike. A smart system traffic system that shows you where the congestion is? Just get Waze.

Perhaps that solar roadway technology would be nice if it worked. Would be great for the road surface to generate electricity.
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 10:21 AM   #11
Durise
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American streets are change or not change doesn't matter. I think USA is a beautiful country and always remain beautiful.
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