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The development of e-commerce and tele-work has allowed people to live comfortably at home without going out for shopping or work. In the past, many roads and stations were built to create a city in order to enable the safe and efficient movement of cars and people. In the future, however, the traffic of people will decrease while the traffic of goods will increase. Such a society may see lanes designated for small distribution carts being built along the roads, with conspicuous street signs warning pedestrians about the traffic.
Would such scenery really be welcomed by the residents? Can people live peacefully in the city that prioritizes efficiency, and hope for a happy life there 10 or 20 years from that time?
In order to create a new city, let's change the area in front of the station into a space that focuses on people first. For example, how about changing a huge space such as a typical rotary in front of a station. Small buses are introduced and drive safely among pedestrians, so that people can flexibly get on and off the buses. Around the rotary, many platforms are installed for private cars and shared cars which need not enter the area in front of the station. Self-driving cars do not need a parking space because they can deliver passengers and then depart.
When people and cars, for which separate spaces have previously been provided for safety and efficiency, move at the same pace and create a mingling area in front of the station, affluence is generated for people to enjoy the city.
The newly created huge space in front of the station will allow people to walk freely, and carts to carry baggage will be made available there for traveling to the station or for shopping.
Moreover, these carts can drive automatically and deliver the baggage to your home if necessary. Therefore, people need not worry about your baggage when dining out after shopping or when shopping on the way to somewhere else. This will allow people to walk in the city more freely. Shops may also increase their contact points with pedestrians. For example, the owner of a liquor shop may recommend a wine that goes well with food items in the cart purchased by the shopper. Such interaction may enhance the bond between residents and shops. When a liquor shop and a vegetable shop next to each other combine their products for sale as a set, the shops are also related. People are now playing a leading role in the city, serving as media and connecting various elements in the city.
As suggested above, by using technology to eliminate obstacles that obstruct free travel, people play a leading role, and various activities may be generated by residents.
In the past, the area in front of the station was marked by many signs and posters that banned or strictly restricted personal use of the space. From now on, however, any resident can use a part of the space by following a simple procedure. Anyone who does not own a shop may casually start a business by using a portable shop. Several venture companies may get together to start up a shared office. As many more diverse challenges are overcome, the area in front of the station will gradually be developed by many people who come to the station not just for transportation. When the area around the station is changed by people having a deep connection to the city, the change will bring a sense of relief, making residents feel that “we can live in this city forever.”