As online shopping continues to become commonplace, so do the number of delivery trucks delivering those goods directly to consumers, rather than centralized stores. While there clearly is convenience in this approach, the increase in delivery vehicles on our streets is significant as 10-30% of the time the same package must be delivered more than once because no one is home and many goods are also returned this same way. The space of our streets is limited – can space-efficient forms of transportation such as bicycles be designed into the center of urban delivery systems?
And at the other end of the spectrum, Amazon is experimenting with personnel-free shopping in urban areas where goods can be purchased without the help of a cashier at all – whether human or self-service machine. This type of technology may have dual effects on the future of cities – there may be lower need for space for employee parking (there are none), but what might it mean for cities to lose part of its entry-level workforce option?