Beating loneliness

News update – October 30th, 2018

In our weekly news filter ‘What We’re Clicking On’, we share our thoughts on the most interesting articles relating to the future of cities, buildings and interiors.

The U.K. government recently launched its first ‘Loneliness Strategy’ as loneliness becomes one of the most pressing public health issues due to changing ways of living and an increasingly digital society.

In the strategy the importance of urban green spaces is recognized as an essential element for physical and mental well-being. This claim is supported by several studies from different countries in which green urban spaces are associated with well-being by way of reducing stress, encouraging physical exercise and enhancing social behavior.

The Conversation identifies three main interventions that have a direct bearing on isolations and loneliness: the accessibility of toilets that take away hurdles for older people and people with disabilities to go outside; provision of staff in parks to organize events in order to meet other people and engage in meaningful activity; and support for voluntary and community organizations to put on activities to create safe and supportive environments.

Read more about The Conversation’s research here and view the full U.K. Strategy on Loneliness here.


Demands from commuters are changing as they want to make the most out of their time. On board of the trains of the future, work, home and transit are therefore merged, resulting in a new train interior for the trains connecting The Netherlands’ major cities. Together with Mecanoo and Gispen, NS developed a modular train interior that fits all of the purposes above and can be fitted in every type of train coach and easily be altered. Commuters that do not want to be disturbed, can for example chose a silent spaces for improved focus whereas people travelling together can chose a more open space. In addition, standing desks with high chairs will also be an option. In 2017 San Francisco transit company Leap tapped into the changing need of commuters by redesigning the interior of its buses. Read the full article here.

(image: Mecanoo)

It’s a long time gone since curbs were just to walk on. Through smartphone technology, curbs have become a commodity for e-commerce operations, ride-hailing services, bike share programs, delivery services and providers of parking spots. In order to efficiently make us of the curb, Coord developed its Surveyor app. It gives government agencies, transportation consultants, mobility companies and related organizations access to curb data: it makes it possible to quickly and accurately collect the position of street features such as parking signs, curb cuts, fire hydrants and other items. By making this data accessible, it will be easier for these types of companies to further improve curb experiences and create new ways to monetize the curb. Read the full article here and Coord’s Amit Glazer (Head of Product) blog post on Medium here.