In Singapore, architects have designed a bus stop with embedded technology to entice residents to use public transport.
We’ve seen some interesting developments in civic technology. A while back we wrote about these LED lights that are embedded in the road at busy intersections to warn cars about approaching bikes. And more recently we wrote about this bus company using piloting the use of beacons to replace ticket machines. Now, the Singaporean government is trialling the use of bus stations with myriad additional features designed to encourage residents to take advantage of public transportation by proving that it can be a pleasant experience.
Singaporean architectural firm DP Architects have created a bus station to make waiting a better experience. Commissioned by the Singapore Land Transportation Authority and installed in September 2016, the stop features swings, books, a rooftop garden, parking for bikes, artwork and a host of embedded technology to keep commuters inspired. Amongst the tech features, those using public transport can enjoy phone chargers, access to Wi-Fi, digital screens that detail information such as arrival times, maps, weather and even local news. They can also download online books from the library by scanning a QR code. The design uses solar panels to power the digital features. As the firm’s project description explains, the technology embedded within the design “Provides the community with diverse possibilities and opportunities for appropriation, to purposefully reshape the bus stops in their own neighborhoods, and to respond to each of their surrounding contexts, unique settings and evolving needs,”.
The Singaporean government is currently testing the idea to decide if it will fund expansion to other regions this year. Are there other stock features of civic architecture than can be redesigned to encourage individuals to have meaningful interactions with their environment and other individuals around them?