Walk this way: cell phones only lane

September 22, 2014
2 min read

According to an article on China People’s Daily, the city of Chongqing in China has installed a sidewalk with two lanes separating smartphone users from non-users.

This pavement is 3 meters wide and 50 meters long and is split into two paths. On the smartphone side, a sign reads “cell phones walk in this lane at your own risk.”

Taking sides

People are more connected than ever as smartphone ownership soars. And China is one of the countries at the forefront of this trend. Mintel’s Mobile Phones and Apps China 2014 report found that 98% of people currently own a smartphone.

However, constant connectivity is presenting problems as many are finding it hard to take a break from their devices. Indeed, it seems like nowhere is safe when it comes to texting and talking. 75% of Americans use their smartphones whilst on the toilet and nearly one in three US pedestrians use their mobile phone when crossing a road.

As such, we’ve seen some innovations designed to address this issue, from in-car devices that allow drivers to send texts and emails and navigate through social media whilst driving to an Android smartphone that doesn’t let users text if they are walking.

This sidewalk hopes to separate people into smartphone users and non-users, allowing non-users to travel from A to B more efficiently and reduce the chance that they’ll be stuck behind someone texting, browsing or talking on their phone. And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a city take this approach.

As urbanisation increases across the globe we’re sure to see other organisational systems launched in order to help improve the livability of cities for their residents. In light of budget cuts, there are opportunities for brands to fund these ventures.

Carli Gernot
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