A system of bicycles and golf carts shared by groups or the city. One person leaves a bicycle, for instance, then another comes and swipes a smart card to then go where they need. Also, subsidized housing must be integrated with "regular" housing, without any indication of who is who, to disassociate stigma and stereotypes about people who need help.
Cherie Parks, Los Angeles
Right now we have the technology for vehicles to guide themselves, without the need for a driver. GM has developed a vehicle that makes driving optional, with intelligence built into the vehicle and communication with surrounding vehicles. This could be an interim stage in development of a longer term alternative, roads with guidance systems able to interact with vehicles of the future to feed back information on traffic throughout the network and work out the best way to get to the destination with minimum delays, based on the number of travelers and their destinations.
There could be transport backbones like present rail or bus systems, with smaller vehicles that people could call up to take them to the nearest backbone, with the system working out the best way to get to the destination. There would be no need to own a vehicle. Fleets of vehicles could be spread around the network by different suppliers who maintain the vehicles and receive income from fares charged to users. Some would be basic, low-cost units, others special purpose or luxury units at higher cost. Users could book a particular type of unit in advance, or accept the nearest unit. From knowledge of the number of people requiring transport and their destinations, the system could work out the capacity and frequency of service needed to cover the demand. When not in use, units would park themselves and recharge.
David Bainbridge, New South Wales, Australia
As an architect in Chicago, one of the most important aspects of future city life for me is urban farming. During World War II, "Victory" gardens produced 40 percent of the country's vegetables, and an overall average of 20 percent of American cities are vacant lots. As transportation costs may become a large part of future food price increases, this aspect of city life, an underexploited resource at present, may assume an important place in the sustainable urban experience of tomorrow.
Bruce Blair, Chicago
Most U.S. cities aren't dense enough to make mass transit practical. Google's self-drive car technology could drastically increase welfare in family wealth, time, environment, safety and convenience. These cars could self-organize carpooling by grouping people with similar itineraries. Carpooling, using hybrid or electric cars, will reduce pollution and so far these cars have shown amazing safety records. Finally, this technology fits with the way we've built our cities and lived our lives (for better or worse) for the past 100 years.
Steven Sandhoff, New York
A comprehensive ban on broadcast advertising (e.g. billboards, bus banners, excessive retail signage) in public spaces would greatly improve the livability of any city I have ever seen. Also, we should elevate the city-state as the primary institution of government in replacement of the obsolescent, imperial relic of the so-called nation-state.
Corey Ladas, Seattle, Washington