It's easy to point out that there's something wrong with a system, such as the design of an urban street or neighborhood, but it's another thing entirely to come up with a design that would be better. But when it comes to re-imagining the streets in your neighborhood, that process just got quite a bit easier, thanks to a new web app.
With Streetmix, users can design their own perfect street, with the right balance of bike lanes, sidewalks, public transport and vehicle traffic lanes, just by dragging and dropping design segments and adjusting their parameters.
"Design, remix, and share your street. Add bike paths, widen sidewalks or traffic lanes, learn how all of this can impact your community." - Streetmix
While you can start to design a scenario from scratch, or begin from the default Streetmix settings, some users are designing alternatives to real streets in their cities, either for analysis or for visualization of proposed changes. The app uses real-world design constraints, which can help the layperson understand some of what urban planners need to incorporate in their designs and enable better communication between the planners and the population in design and use issues.
"This is going to revolutionize the way we interact with our communities on street design." - Lou Huang, Code for America fellow
Streetmix, now in public beta, began as a product of a Code for America hackathon, and has signed up some 800 users and generated about 37,000 streets. The app saves the street designs and makes it easy to share them online or print them out to get feedback or to promote the design.
Go ahead, make the city better with Streetmix.