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US cities selected for Digital Kerb Challenge

Aspen, Nashville, Omaha, and West Palm Beach will team with kerb management company Coord on “smart zone” programmes tailored to their individual mobility challenges.

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Nashville is one of the cities to take part in the kerb challenge
Nashville is one of the cities to take part in the kerb challenge

Four US cities have been chosen for the inaugural Digital Kerb Challenge, a mobility competition announced by the Sidewalk Labs-backed Coord, earlier this year.

 

The cities of Aspen, Nashville, Omaha, and West Palm Beach will team with the kerb management company on “smart zone” programmes tailored to their individual mobility challenges. Reducing congestion, improving safety, and supporting local economic activity are all cited as goals of the pilot.

 

Communities’ changing needs

 

According to Coord, cities are increasingly looking to kerb management to help meet communities’ changing needs, such as growing delivery, ride-hail and shared micro-mobility activity, and the need for more dedicated space for recreation and commercial activity.

 

Smart zones, powered by Coord’s technology, enable commercial drivers to use their mobile devices to locate nearby available loading zones and to hold, book, and pay for time in them. Coord reckons this creates opportunities for cities to better manage their kerb space, while improving the loading experience for both delivery companies and local businesses.

 

“We were delighted at the outpouring of interest in the Digital Kerb Challenge from across the US and Canada,” said Stephen Smyth, co-founder and CEO of Coord.

 

“We look forward to working closely with Aspen, Nashville, Omaha and West Palm Beach to develop and launch smart zone pilot programmes that address critical mobility challenges in these cities and to demonstrate the power of the kerb in creating significant, tangible impacts in their communities and local economies.”

 

In addition, by providing cities with information about when, where and how long drivers are loading, the Coord platform also supports data-driven operational changes. For example, cities can use this information to create more loading space where it is most needed, or they can manage demand for it through pricing and time limits.

“We look forward to working closely with Aspen, Nashville, Omaha and West Palm Beach to develop and launch smart zone pilot programmes that address critical mobility challenges in these cities”

Because smart zone availability, rules and prices are digitally communicated to drivers, Coord claims, cities can adjust rules for zones in response to policy changes, special events or emergencies without the hassle and expense of modifying signage on the street.

 

About the Digital Kerb Challenge cities:

  • Aspen, described an outdoor recreation mecca with a bustling downtown, reportedly, generating $1bn in retail economic activity annually, is undertaking this pilot to help streamline commercial deliveries serving the city’s many restaurants, retailers and other businesses
  • Nashville, said to be one of the most visited downtowns in the US, will undertake this pilot to better coordinate access to its kerb space as an initial step toward rationalising policies for commercial users of the kerb in order to support broader city goals around safety and sustainability
  • Omaha, home to nearly one million residents, four Fortune 500 companies and thriving food and cultural scenes, is undertaking this pilot to better coordinate access to its kerb space for vehicles performing commercial loading in order to reduce congestion and safety hazards caused by double-parking
  • West Palm Beach, a vibrant, growing waterfront city, is undertaking this pilot to better coordinate access to its kerb space for vehicles performing pickups and deliveries in order to reduce congestion and safety hazards in the Rosemary Square area.

Due to high levels of interest, a cohort of nine other cities from across the US will have been a “front row sea” to the work that pilot cities are doing as part of the challenge. The selected cities – Vancouver, Baltimore, Sarasota, Bend, Norwalk, Fort Smith, Halifax, Portland, and Walnut Creek – will also form a community for city leaders and staff to share best practices, learnings and resources across kerb management.

 

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