February 1st, 2013


Check out the video of the Reinvent Payphones Information Session held on January 23, 2013. City officials from eight agencies answered participants’ questions ranging from redesigning public space, to providing amenities in City parks, to integrating with transportation furniture. Here are some key takeaways:

  •  For payphones to become an integral part of the city’s streetscape prototypes should integrate with other public infrastructure. Think about the overall urban environment, not just the object itself.
  • When reimagining the current payphone infrastructure, think about a range of user narratives – what are some current challenges and how could this infrastructure provide a solution? What is going to make people want to use the new amenities?
  • Think beyond the current payphone design. There are no size constraints for the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, but consider how the streetscape could be improved if new payphone kiosks had smaller footprints than the current infrastructure.
  • Think about how the city could provide new services, useful information, and communications technology while sustaining current revenues.
  •  Ensure prototypes are future-focused; consider the rapid pace of technological change.
  • Serve a range of users’-needs. Consider accessibility for all people, at all times, including during emergencies.
  • If submitting multi-faceted prototypes, think about the user experience and remember to keep it simple.

Submit your prototype at nyc.gov/reinventpayphones before 9AM EST on February 18, 2013 and you could help shape the future of New York City’s streets. Competition judges will select up to 15 semi-finalists to present at the Reinvent Payphones demo day on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. 

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    Saying goodbye to a key part of the urban landcape over the last 50+ years… via
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