Sidewalk Labs +
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Create Street Lab


Cities can leverage design and technology to make streets safer, more comfortable, and more efficient — for everyone. That’s why Sidewalk Labs and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) are collaborating to create a Street Lab: a place to test innovative, low-cost solutions that address the transportation, wayfinding, and curbside problems facing cities today. 

Introducing the Flexible Curb

Between parking, curbside dining, transit, passenger pick-ups and drop-offs, and on-demand delivery, the curb is an increasingly contested — and valuable — space on busy city streets. Managing all this curbside activity is a big challenge for cities.

We believe that by making curbside space truly flexible, cities can enable the same space to serve a variety of demands — and better manage the competing demands on shared streets. We are calling this concept the Flexible Curb.

Moving image shows a street changing uses, from curbside seating to parking to truck unloading.

What We’re Doing

In partnership with Colas, we are piloting a Flexible Curb proof-of-concept at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, outside of Building 77. The pilot will use LED pavement technology to communicate different curbside usage rules to pedestrians and drivers. The pilot will also measure changes in curbside usage via privacy-preserving sensing technology from Numina, as well as a privacy-preserving vehicle occupancy sensor being developed by Sidewalk Labs.

Construction of the pilot started in October and will wrap up in winter 2020. From November to March 2021, Sidewalk Labs and Colas will conduct technical and user experience testing to validate the technical robustness and efficacy of the concept.

Graphic noting the placement of the different technologies in use for the flexible curb prototype, including sensors and digital signs.

Data Privacy

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a limited-access campus for innovative manufacturing companies and invited visitors. Sidewalk Labs will only test technologies that can ensure visitor privacy. Sidewalk Labs will follow the data collection, access, use, and storage policies outlined in our Responsible Data Use Guidelines. In accordance with these guidelines, data collected from Numina and Sidewalk Labs sensors will be aggregated, and no personally identifiable information will be collected. You can read a summary of the pilot’s Responsible Data Use Assessment here