Smart Cities: 40 Innovative Designs That Make Some Destinations Bucket List WorthyBy Anthony K
While you may disagree, city life can be pretty stressful for first-timers and even for folks who have lived in a busy city their whole lives. The fast-paced lifestyle and the need to rely on public transportation are part of the urban living experience. If you look around, you may note that public seats seem to disappear when you need them most, and you can never find a spot to unwind after a hard day’s work. After constant deliberation, most mayors have chosen to make their cities more innovative and enhance their tourist attractions based on the people’s needs. The upgrades entail the installation of outdoor furniture, artwork, gym equipment, and other pieces of technology, making life easier and more enjoyable. The introduction of various technologies and upgrades is characterized by the envy of visitors and the pride of locals. This piece explores 40 innovative designs to help any city grow ‘smarter’ and attract more visitors.
1. A Breath of Fresh Air
If there’s a nice breeze outside, get your shoes on and walk out the door for a remarkable experience. Spending time at the bench of your dreams can help you calm down and make the moment memorable. You can take long, slow breaths or meditate as you savor the aroma of life.
We wonder why nobody envisioned this architectural beauty before Portland. It contains plants that will shield you from the sun based on the time of the day. You can help the plants welcome rainwater overhead for a unique experience in the rainy season.
2. All Hands-on Deck
South Korea is famous for busy cities with folks moving up and down to keep the economy alive. Amid all the traffic, Koreans keep streets clean by disposing garbage at the right points. It’s unlikely to come across candy wrappers on pathways and dirt on shoes.
Most countries and cities are curious about how South Koreans manage such a feat. Key strategies include the installation of purposeful sprinklers that hose down the road as the tires rub against the gravel. The friction is enough to remove residues like glue, grime, and caked mud.
3. Break A Sweat Outdoors
If you need to visit the gym, you can fasten your gym shoes and dash to the nearest recreational center, like a community park. Most parks are equipped with benches, hand bikes, plyometric boxes, chest press machines, benches, and pull-up bars available at your disposal. You’ll need to face your fears and exercise outdoors.
Some folks may be wishing to work out but are afraid of prying eyes. As you break out in a sweat, you’re likely to attract more people in your community to join. Most of your friends and relatives shall be living healthier without fear of cardiovascular complications in due time.
4. Burn Those Calories
Burning calories and losing extra weight are challenges most men and women face. Regrettably, you may not take your advice and motivate yourself to spring into action towards losing the additional weight. This town features painted measurements on the subway steps allowing you to calculate the calories burnt with every step up the stairs.
If you forget your pedometer, the markings will help you know the calories burnt as you ascend the stairs. If you take the same route, you’ll soon be aware of the calories you burn taking the stairs. Walking up and down the stairs may be enough of a workout.
5. Dining Spaces for Everyone
Healthy meals can keep a city alive as most folks are more nutritious, vibrant, and productive. Unfortunately, most folks believe that dining spaces are exclusively available within local cafes. This establishment by the municipality allows you to enjoy a round of beer with friends, a leisurely sit alone, or a cup of tea with colleagues in the friendly neighborhood.
The local government replaces the wooden panels and repaints the seats every couple of years. A need for comfort and care for the well-being of individual citizens drives the local government to protect the dining space. They take care of the plants in the mini garden to make the place livelier.
6. Do You Hear That?
When payday comes, each person implements a different decision to buy essential products they need or save their earnings. While heading to the mall for some supplies, you can encounter a friend headed in the same direction. As you halt for a brief chat, imagine hearing the sound of something whooshing down accompanied by a gush of wind.
While most buildings focus on escalators and stairs, this Prague mall offers an alternative experience. Each descent will give you a blast, but we don’t recommend bringing your trolley along. If you’re tired of escalators and stairs, consider this your next attraction.
7. Dry in A Jiffy
Judging a book by its cover may result in disappointments as you may miss some essential knowledge or avenues it tells more about. For example, this rolling bench appears unimpressive before discovering various benefits hidden on the right side. You may find the practical side of this bench after a heavy downpour.
After the rain ceases, you won’t need the sun to dry your bench. Begin the cleaning process by turning the lever and allowing the bench to flip itself to expose the clean and dry side. You can show kindness by turning the handle and allowing others to use it.
8. Eyes on The Road
Encouraging more people to venture outside at night may entail lighting pathways and specific areas while enhancing safety. The mayor installed starlight on pavements of a public park to encourage folks to visit at any time. Its breathtaking sight may encourage you to drop your car keys and opt for a walk instead.
Suppose you have trouble keeping your eyes on the road while cycling. You can visit the path for a stroll solo or in the company of a loved one. Spending quality time in a beautiful landscape can lift your moods while ensuring that neither of you disappears into the darkness.
9. For the Young at Heart
Swings are designed for kids but could be strong enough to hold adult weight. When passing by a swing, you’re likely to feel the jittery excitement of wanting to go higher as a friend pushes you from the back. The feeling of air rushing past your shoulders makes every hoist worth it. When flying solo, kicking your feet off the ground and swinging backward sends you flying.
The young at heart will agree that a swing effectively ends your day and brings a smile to your face in uncertain times. With a single swing per bus stop, adults and children may be scrambling for the refreshing experience.
10. Need A Little Help?
To burn more calories, take up activities like bicycling. Besides burning calories and leaving your body healthier, you’re likely to reduce costs and improve the environment. The key disadvantage is that you can take longer to reach your destination but arrive earlier when vehicles are stuck in traffic.
Stuttgart allows cyclists to bring bikes aboard the train. Bringing your bike along is a much-needed respite for individuals with busy schedules allowing about a half-hour long commute. The portable biking pad and city tram are connected to allow their propelling to each station.
11. No More Knocking
When visiting a public restroom, you hope to complete the task at hand privately. Unfortunately, folks that don’t knock audibly can disturb your peace upon turning the knob. The invention of creative lights ensures that you take your time undisturbed. You’ll notice the red light when occupied while the unoccupied ones will have the green light on.
The lights will ensure that you’re free from loud and persistent knocks from those waiting to enter. Use the time to focus on you’re a-game, enjoy the sweet experience alone, and don’t forget to flush when you’re done. Soon as you unhinge, the overhead light turns green to announce its vacancy.
12. Quick Charge
Besides parties and making friends, college life is characterized by assignments and research activities. Most students take advantage of various tables allowing them to charge phones and laptops while enjoying coffee. The solar-powered table below features an energy converter making it more efficient for different devices.
Most institutions have adopted the solar-powered table to give students immediate access to a quick charge for gadgets they use in class and the library. Anyone with a phone running low on battery can also use the renewable energy source. Leaving the phone to charge while conversing with friends can be more productive as you pass the time faster.
13. Responsive Street Furniture
As many cities are upgrading, London took the initiative of setting the pace. The city held an exhibition at one of the leading museums to parade street furniture prototypes adapting to the needs of diverse residents. It featured a prototype using technology to detect how you use the public areas to personalize your experience further.
The image above features a visually impaired London resident walking with her dog. While walking under the street lamps, her phone records her needs allowing the street lamp to adjust lighting levels and the foldaway seating. It can also extend the time she needs to cross the road.
14. State-Of-The-Art Parking System
Even qualified and experienced drivers experience challenges when parking or leaving the parking lot when you ask around. We wish that players in the hotel industry can invest more resources towards better parking management systems. Platforms like the Scorpio automation have a driver-friendly design helping a car owner find ample parking space.
You will notice a pair of indicators at the car’s end. Each parking pod features lights making your work easier. Red light means the space is occupied while green light shows a vacancy hence eradicating the need for dim parking lights.
15. Summer Sunbathing
A fold-out balcony allows you to bring a chair, have your feet up on the railings, and revel in the surrounding heat in the summer heat. After getting enough of the heat and your desired tan, yank the window panes and transform the Cabrio system into an attic window.
The Cabrio system allows you to afford a fabulous view of the night sky and cut on electric costs. It also lets in extra sunlight to pass through during the day. Fortunately, simple moves can transform the window into a balcony within seconds.
16. The Tram Bicycle Lift
Norway is a sanctuary for cyclists prompting the introduction of cyclist-friendly inventions. In Trondheim, you’ll find the creative Cyclocable, a design making a hill climb less strenuous. You rest a foot on the angled stand, maintain half of your body weight on the bike, and wait for effective propulsion up the hill.
It sounds enticing for forts time and subsequent visitors. Up to five cyclists can use the transport line at a time. Even those on scooters can use the pods. You mustn’t worry about pedaling on the downhill slope because gravity is at your service for the heavy lifting.
17. Up for A Game of Pong?
Sixty seconds may seem long when doing planks or waiting for the light to turn green. Germany introduced a user-friendly invention to save you from what could seem like one of the most prolonged moments in your life. Most German cities feature street pongs engaging you for a couple of rounds as you wait for the moment to pass by faster.
If you catch a glimpse of the red light, tap on it and select from a drop-down list of arcade games to occupy your time. If you accept the challenge to play, the system matches you with another readily available player across the street. You must score the most goals in the opponent’s net to win.
18. Who’s Got Talent?
You should visit our next unique city addition if you believe that walls can speak. Band members and singers waiting for their big break won’t have to deal with the trouble of a reality show or wait to get an audience. Here, you can play out your heart’s content on the benches and wait for the system to magnify the sound of your instruments.
When you step into the boot, you mustn’t have excellent music skills. Unfortunately, we must warn you that gossiping before it can be a source of shame. The platform allows you to experience the distance that amplified sound echoes cover. Remember your guitar set when headed to the Living Innovation Zone in San Francisco.
19. Another Hero to The Rescue
You may come across folks wearing white jackets in clinics, hospitals, and laboratories as they conduct various duties. In most cases, each has faithfully done their part in monitoring symptoms, assessing clients, and treating patients with diverse needs. Our next image highlights an underrated superhero that could come to your rescue.
The autonomous delivery robot helps hospital staff to give efficient care by minimizing mistakes like the administration of wrong prescriptions. It navigates hospital aisles, stores medicine, captures data, and sends documentation to the control center. Each operation is designed to ease the work of nurses and other caregivers administering appropriate care.
20. Grow A Bud
Every Hollander is familiar with the idea of planting plant buds two spaces apart to let the bulbs blossom into gorgeous flowers that others can use as seats. You can pull down a seat and take a minute to savor the fresh air without fear of falling.
When waiting for the next bus, you can use the chairs to relax and rest your feet. The bus may be honking within a couple of minutes, waiting for passengers to climb aboard. Erecting more seats can ease the stress of commute and city life.
21. A bouquet
The intense Israeli heat has prompted them to focus on creative architectural designs to provide shade outdoors. Most flower lamps are at least 30ft tall and 30ft wide. Fortunately, they are designed to bloom or blow cool air when you’re passing under.
They operate by channeling air to the chutes from the flower’s base. The atmosphere is condensed and purified until you pass below the bud. When passing, the bud blossoms and channels cool air in your direction. The buds also come to life at night to keep the area illuminated.
22. Access granted
Once in a while, you may be lazy to recycle waste. Rather than separating general waste from recyclable waste, you might dump both into the same bin. Unfortunately, this trash can will not have any of that. If you attempt it, this trash can will clog its shaft.
Our next invention features an AI technology that makes it easier to identify trash and recyclables. The piece identifies the compost plastic bottles and food wrappers. It detects whether they are full and create more space by compressing the available trash. Garbage collectors empty the bins at around 7 pm to create more space for trash dumping.
23. Bike Rentals
Melbourne has plenty to offer for the first time and subsequent visitors. You may prefer a city tour on foot or by bike on each visit. The city provides various bike rental systems allowing you better views and access to more vitamin D. If the prospect of an exercise doesn’t do it for you, perhaps you should try viewing the city from the Eureka Skydeck.
You can simply borrow a bicycle from the dock. Once finished, you can return the bike to any dock, even in a different location. Get to the nearest tourist spot that you can explore on a bike. A smartphone app is available to make your trip easier for available bikes and open docks around the city.
24. Courtesy call
The parking lot is designed for your car’s safety but isn’t a guarantee that one wouldn’t mess up your vehicle. You can imagine the frustration of finding scratches on the door or other parts of the car, making the parking management your biggest enemy. The French use this soft barrier to reduce the worry about scratches and dents from neighboring vehicles.
You also don’t need to worry about passengers or yourself opening the door too wide to scratch and dent neighboring cars. Newbie drivers are also protected from mistakes that may include hitting other vehicles parked in the vicinity. Your car is safer from scratches and dents from other vehicles without parking past the line.
25. Feeling like doing yoga?
Yoga is ideal for your holistic well-being, making it essential for folks looking to relax from the city’s busy life and stress. Unfortunately, doing yoga in public may seem like an impossible feat for the shy. Instead of installing public chairs and benches, the locals preferred hammocks for people to swing because any second off the ground is a source of relief.
Are you familiar with aerial yoga? Feed your curiosity by sitting in one of these. Get your shoes and slippers off like the woman above or straddle the cloth. You can make the experience better by using the hammock like a swing, making you airborne for the adventurous types.
26. Got our papers ready
When hunting for a job, you should consider factors like company benefits, salary, and the office you’re hoping to join. We aren’t surprised that this company receives over a hundred job applications daily regarding its design. Sources claim that Wayfair Canada hopes to hire over a thousand engineering technologists.
Deceiving looks may convince you that the company doesn’t need more employees. Fortunately, they need data scientists, product managers, software engineers, experienced designers, and researchers to create a pool of professionals. The company aims to maintain its state-of-the-art furniture designs while delivering the best services to employees.
27. IBM’s Smart Ideas For Smarter Cities
Most companies have adopted the production of dual-purpose billboards for residents seeking a unique experience. IBM’s Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities has stood out among most inventions. IBM took up ingenuity to create a simple advertisement into a convenient shade. More local governments can learn from this movie.
IBM intends to use this campaign to inspire more folks to share ideas to improve city life. If your presentation and suggestion are accepted, IBM promises to install more billboards in other cities. The little competition encourages more folks to explore more creative ideas.
28. Interactive Art
San Francisco has lots to offer for history geeks and tourists searching for a unique experience. You may enjoy beautiful sceneries like the Alamo Square, the Golden Gate Bridge, and open spaces with interactive art. In most cases, San Francisco features perfect weather allowing you to walk around without fear of a looming downpour.
When the MeetWalls were installed at first, most folks were openly intrigued by the sight of strangers standing across from them. You need to stand before the interactive walls and wait for sensors to sense your presence. What follows entails introducing yourself to the figure standing before you as the wall reveals them.
29. Joy Ride!
Public commuter services usually feature various inventions meant to better your vehicle experience. The city of Hamburg set up mini-libraries in buses for those that love reading on long trips. You can make the trip fun by completing a chapter, portion, or page of any book. Every book is available at no cost.
There’s a tiny catch for book worms. For instance, one may be tempted to ditch their stop and cover longer distances to read more books or chapters. It’s a unique feeling as you read the chapters while driving around the city your book covers. Paying to meet your best fictional character or read from your favorite author is worth every dollar.
30. Minimizing Carbon Footprint
More cities are joining the debate for environmental conservation and reducing carbon footprints to zero. As a leading tourist destination, Paris has introduced effective ways for minimizing its carbon footprint. Most parts of the city are lined with solar trees providing shade while feeding on solar energy. You can fill water bottles from the fountain or use USB ports.
Other than providing power, solar energy fuels the water-cooling system. As you cool off, you wouldn’t need the expensive bottled water. The trees also provide enough light to illuminate your pathways at night. Introducing the solar trees in more parks will reduce carbon footprints while ensuring that folks are hydrated and paths are lit in the dark.
31. Parked In A Jiffy
Entering or leaving the parking lot may take more time and require a skill than most newbie drivers lack. Imagine the frustration of finding the right spot or leaving the parking lot hurriedly as you rush to write exams or complete various tasks. Missing the parking space can spoil your day and make it harder to complete exams.
This parking lot is designed to hold more cars while reducing parking time or leaving the parking lot. As you enter the parking lot, you’ll see available spaces on the far left or right, eradicating the need to drive around in search of open spaces. As other drivers move in reverse, you can move in and park your car diagonally within the space.
32. Soofa Benches
You may have wanted to explore something luxurious while outdoors without setting specific limits. Installation of the Soofa bench in Harvard Square, Fresh Pond, Danehy Park, and Central Square can help you create new memories outdoors. Soofa smart benches allow you to charge gadgets using USB cables and renewable solar energy.
Soofa benches gather information based on your location and rate of pollution within the area. It also collects information about noise pollution to facilitate the minimization of noise and air pollution. The benches provide a place for folks to relax and feel the outdoor breeze while ensuring that cities make relevant efforts in the fight against pollution.
33. Steora Smart Benches
Steora takes pride in benches that may look, feel, and cost the same as regular ones. Fortunately, they have an added touch and extra features, making them best for different users. The benches allow you to charge various gadgets by plugging the cable into USB ports. The benches are also ideal as repair stations featuring a complete set of tools.
Steora benches are more than regular seats with an efficient platform for advertisements. Most companies use glass panels to display advertisements. When you tap or sit in the sensor panel, the seat automatically turns blank. The Steora benches also provide ambient light that keeps you occupied while waiting for the next bus.
34. Want to Hang Around?
Most of us love spending quality time alongside friends indoors and outdoors. Outdoor fun options include spending time in a lounge by the café, skating around the city, or spending time in a park. When broke, you and your friends can visit these nets allowing you to bask comfortably.
We believe that nobody is too old to explore the safety nets. You should get rid of the shoes before climbing to avoid making them dirty for others waiting to get in. If not creating stories, you can continue reading a book, share a pizza, or watch the clouds in the sky.
35. Welcome To Enfield Town
In Enfield town, residents make direct contributions towards making the city beautiful and safe for others. Anybody can submit designs for projects like the public plaza and fountain island. Reinvigorating the area using market stalls and funfair rides has proven effective.
Before this, most residents would visit the square, sit, and stretch their legs to enjoy the city’s noise and escape from reality. Others used the internet to submit practical ideas for making the Fountain Island better. We hope that its designers can find tactics to complete the project better.
36. Get The Rave Going
Once the sun sets, the city turns a different hue. In most cases, you can catch a whiff of alcohol coming from bars and hear music blasting from nearby nightclubs. After quality time with friends, you can retrace steps back home at a snail’s pace under the guidance of strategically placed street lights illuminating the path to safety.
What other things do we love about street lamps? Most establishments include solar-powered lights that charge during the day and light your way at night. You can feed off light rays and store energy in illuminating pathways in the day. Considering its brightness and shine, we may have mistaken various light rays for the sun.
37. More Charging Outlets
In most cases, you may face challenges finding the best advertisement for your company. You may begin by giving clients free and valuable services like charging points. You can place the charging ports around pedestrian crossings and schools and then sit back and watch competitors breaking a sweat.
AT&T took the extra initiative of installing solar-powered mobile charging stations around New York. You can amp your phone’s sap and enjoy the available Wi-Fi. You can take photos of the charging station. Various spots are open all year long in parks, beaches, and public plazas with AT&T charging ports.
38. Music in The Streets
Music is ideal for soothing your mind and relaxing you during the day. JCDecaux introduced an excellent bus shelter that you likely haven’t come across yet. The system allows you to access a music playlist and listen to various songs through the surround speakers. You can connect with those who have similar tastes in music or explore other people’s music choices.
More than a million people interacted under the bus shelter in under a month while accounting for over 110 hours of music. The platform has allowed the discovery of more people sharing the excitement. While listening to your favorite song(s), commuting may not seem bad after all, as you get a more personalized experience.
39. Zebra Crossing
To ensure that pedestrians and drivers pay more attention to designated crossings, the city government of Nanjing introduced smart zebra crossing. An illuminated crosswalk with flashing lights warns drivers to slow down while approaching the intersection to increase safety measures.
If you find yourself texting while walking, you may be looking down the entire time during your travels. A casual glance between your gadget’s screen and lights can’t be enough to let you evade oncoming vehicles. The system allows the lights to adjust the brightness based on the environment.
40. Watch This Disappearing Act
Most kids are intrigued by the inner workings of magic tricks, as some hope to follow in the footsteps of David Copperfield. Magicians with skills and well-rehearsed moves can also sweep adults off their feet. You may need to open the metal cabinet by the corner of your brick wall, pull the lever down, say abracadabra, and wait for the beauty to pop out of nowhere.
When the table emerges, you can dine outside, hang out with pals, and enjoy the gentle breeze that billows past your face. When pangs of hunger kick in, you can visit a nearby diner to get a healthy bite. On the bright side, you can bring food and eat without fear of external interference.