Mobile services for covid 19 cities

by Joss Cueto Gutarra


“(Other) voluntary prisoners of architecture for covid-19” – digital collage. (Based on “Exodus, or the voluntary prisoners of architecture” by Rem Koolhaas, Madelon Vreisendorp, Elia Zenghelis, and Zoe Zenghelis)


“Streets as Conveyor belts for covid-19 cities” – digital collage.


Do we have to move through the city to get services that meet our needs, or could it be the other way around?

In an air flight, in order to maintain order and the streets free in case of other necessary pedestrian movements (like going to the bathroom), it is the services that approach people as they stay in their place. What if we extrapolate this to an urban scale?

Nowadays, with the delivery systems increasing, some unnecessary car trips through the city are being cut down. Today’s delivery could be a primitive antecedent to cities where services (like pop-ups stores) move continuously through the streets, and we wait for them, or meet them by walking up to their nearby locations, as we do when taking a car service and watch their location through an app. This idea, supported by home office would potentially reduce mass transit in cities, and would equate to less money, and especially less time wasted, on each citizen’s day-to-day transportation. 

As massive vehicular demand decreases, pedestrian “15 minute” movement can finally shape our cities. We can jump start by manage “caravans” by hours where small businesses can circulate and park briefly with their mobile stores in various neighborhoods. Of course this will automatically push us to promote wider sidewalks and more general public space that allow us to circulate and organize small queues around services while keeping the regulatory “social distance”. 

Look down can easily hurt the flow of the economy, as cities are shaped to make us move long distances in order to consume. Can we think of streets as conveyor belts that bring us the services and shopping points? So that staying at home, because is the safest thing right now, won’t become a total systematic crash.


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