The Design Stories of 2012 That Will Resonate in 2013

The Smart Phone Replaces the Car And Changes The Way We Design Our Cities

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credit: Kartik Malik

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Alex Steffen once wrote What We Build Dictates How We Get Around, and got it exactly backwards: How we get around dictates what we build. That's why we got sprawl and the suburbs, because of the enabling technology of the private automobile. When technology changes, so does the way we build.

But now, young people are turning away from car ownership. In Staying Connected May Be Worth More To Young People Than A Set Of Wheels, I wrote:

The car is the tool that used to connect us; you would hop in it to go to where everyone was hanging out. You might cruise until you found your friends. But you don't need a car to do that anymore. You don't want a car anymore.

This trend is going to continue, as the technology keeps getting better. I concluded:

This is just the start. In the 1950s, President Eisenhower's massive public investment in the highway system changed the way America lived and worked; we are ankle deep into a change just as significant.

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