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Annual kerb management challenge launched

Coord wants to partner with cities and other kerb managers to undertake a Smart Zone pilot programme to digitally manage and operate kerb space.

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Coord's technology aims to provide a smarter use of the kerb
Coord's technology aims to provide a smarter use of the kerb

Kerb management technology specialist Coord is launching its 2021 Digital Curb (kerb) Challenge: Bounce Back Better Edition.

 

The company wants to partner with cities and other kerb managers, such as universities, airports, private developments, health systems and conference centres, across North America, to undertake a Smart Zone pilot programme to digitally manage and operate kerb space in their cities.

 

Free pilot programme

 

The challenge, will provide the opportunity for up to three cities or other kerb managers across North America to partner in the free pilot programme.

 

Writing in a blog, Dawn Miller, vice president, policy and partnerships, said the company wants to harness the creativity and energy shown by cities in the pandemic to come back doing things even better than before.

 

She said: “Public agencies and their partners are doing things differently to enable residents to get where they need to go safely and to connect businesses with their customers in new ways. Cities have pivoted quickly and made big impacts with limited resources. And it is in this context that we launch the second annual Digital Curb Challenge. Can we do so even when budgets are limited?”

 

Smart Zones are spaces along the kerb that cities digitally manage and operate. They are dedicated to goods loading and unloading and drivers use a mobile app to see real-time Smart Zone locations and availability.

“Cities have pivoted quickly and made big impacts with limited resources. Can we do so even when budgets are limited?”

Drivers can hold a Smart Zone in advance of arrival at their destination, paying for space in-app when they arrive. Miller explained that this provides drivers with advanced kerb intelligence they can use to navigate directly to available space, reducing illegal parking and circling. “It provides cities with valuable data and tools to optimise their curb space to meet competing community needs,” she said.

 

As part of last year’s inaugural challenge, Coord partnered with Aspen, Nashville, Omaha and West Palm Beach to launch the first Smart Zone pilot programmes in these cities to better manage commercial loading. The projects have brought together learning on which Coord hopes to build this year.

 

This year, Coord is looking for cities interested in Smart Zone programmes that explore one or several of the following features:

  • variable pricing to use different pricing for different times of day or different zones. This can help manage demand and improve availability for drivers, shifting more loading activity to times when it works well for the neighbourhood (for example, early mornings or overnight) or across more zones
  • exploring greater automation, booking drivers automatically into the best available zone near their destinations
  • deploying Smart Zones in spaces beyond the kerb, such as alleyways
  • exploring Smart Zones for recurring or predictable uses of street space, such as charter buses, intercity buses, or mobile vending
  • applying Smart Zones in a unique neighbourhood, downtown or other commercial setting.

Coord is based in New York City, and backed by Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, Alliance Ventures, Trucks, Urban Us and DB Digital Ventures.

 

To find out more, go to the Digital Curb Challenge website.

 

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