Prototype Urban Innovations

This website includes a whole heap of innovative ideas for cities created by folk for U.P, a festival centred around 'place making through prototyping', including a competition for innovative urban ideas in San Francisco.




According to the U.P San Francisco website, "every project produced will be open source, publicly documented, and replicable in any city in the world".  Sounds good, so what did these crafty particpants come up with?  20 projects were short-listed.  Here's a few:


  • Clip and Slide - turn stairs into slides (that are somehow musical too?). Why walk when you can slide?
  • Street-Sensing - uses sensors to turn ordinary street lights into pollution measuring devices. Data can be shared online.
  • Shared Cinema - interactive public 'cinemas' where you can watch youtube videos, and sing along.
  • DIY Traffic Counter - Cheap and easy to set up, enables the average punter to collect data on bikes and cars going by.
  • Lemonopoly - a planting structure made for fences with web enabled sensors that help facilitate community care of public fruit trees.
  • PPPlanter - takes on the sensitive issue of public urination, offering mobile outlets, for ummm, outletting.  Incorporates a reconfigurable design with bio-filters for treatment.
  • Death of the Bench - Can a seating system be flexible and fixed at the same time? Kind of - this system provides a fixed platform for personally taking charge of your desired street furniture.
  • Instant (play)Ground - Temporary, portable pedestrian scale games for streets.  Seems a bit like hopscotch - but for everybody (not just kids). 

Whether or not any of these ideas will actually make it onto the street, who knows? Even if they don't, competitions like this are really good way to see what ideas people in the community can come up with - I'd certainly be keen to see something like this for Melbourne.  I also really like the interactive, digital components of these - keep the ideas flowing!


Read more about U.P here.

See all the shortlisted projects here.

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