Have you heard of 5G? It’s the next, best thing in wireless. What’s the promise? Wireless communication near the speed of light for massive amounts of data. Your first thought is your iPhone, right? It won’t change that much. You can already stream live TV in 4K through Hulu, DirectTV NOW and YouTube TV, just to name a few. So why does it matter?
5G, when fully implemented, will FINALLY deliver on the promise of changed urban mobility. What Tesla and Elon Musk are doing with self-driving is a neat party trick, compared to what this network will usher in. Gone will be the necessity of automobile ownership. Transit will be an on-demand service available at a rate and efficiency that’ll make current day Uber/Lyft look archaic. Even if you own a car, when you aren’t in it, it will be working. It will be driving other people and/or goods around.
So, on to the title: WE ARE GOING TO CREATE A TON OF REAL ESTATE. If your car/ride drops you off and goes to work (or home to hang out), the parking needs of urban environments will plummet. The next time you drive through a CBD, look at parking lots, parking decks and street parking. What if you could demolish almost all of that?! We are going to have the opportunity to turn nearly every CBD into a modern version of NYC. DENSITY. You’re surrounded by development sites.
What about all that street parking? Give half of it to cars (which will drive far more safely and efficiently) and half to pedestrians, cyclists and those dang Bird/Lime scooters. Now, imagine what your town can be.
When? We’ll have a pretty serviceable 5G network in about five years. AT&T and Verizon are rolling out test networks in a dozen cities each as we speak. WAIT?! That’s sooner than you thought? Plan accordingly.