Cities have networks of libraries, schools, police and fire departments, what is needed especially in NYC is a network of facilities to support other critical needs.  Urban Hubs is a proposal for such a network designed to tackle challenges related to micro cargo, micro transit, waste management, and public sanitation. Ultimately, Urban Hubs will be the operational backbone of Carbon Zero City.

Financially, Urban Hubs could occupy vacant retail space which at present is running about 22% in Lower Manhattan. Furthermore, there are related examples where such facilities could be sponsorable.




DEMAND FOR MICRO CARGO IS BOOMING —To address to the dramatic increase in package deliveries, nimble companies are exploring a variety of modes. In some instances, the basic bike is best. In others with higher capacity, the new quads from Europe are starting to hit the streets. Innovation could dramatically improve the problem, with appropriate infrastructure like Urban Hubs.

Transportation Exhibit

Increasing annual tonnage — Growing overall cargo market: NYC's cargo is set to rise from 365 million tons a year in 2020 to 540 million tons by 2045 (source: DOT).

Package deliveries

Daily deliveries — The package delivery market, surged 50% in just two years, now totaling 3.6 million packages daily. Trucks, accounting for 90% of NYC freight, exacerbate air quality issues, traffic congestion, safety hazards, and reduce quality of life.

Leading the evolution are a variety of modes.


Bikes — Ideal for couriers, food delivery, and local businesses. Joco, the Whizz and Zoomo are examples of companies that rent and lease bikes to couriers.

Bikes +

Bikes + — Cargo bike-trailer combos for efficient transport feature reinforced frames and stable, spacious trailers. Dutch X is a user of this approach.


Trikes — 3-wheeled, goods transport option. Sturdy frame, rear cargo platform. Ideal for urban, last-mile deliveries, beating vans and e-bikes. Example is the Hub NYC.


Quads — Higher capacity, ideal for urban deliveries and industrial logistics. 2 quads have the same capacity as a conventional van. Fernhay and EAV and suppliers.

In the autumn of 2024 IC, in partnership with the NYC Pedicab Owners Association, held a series of roundtables on the future of micro cargo. It included some of the hot micro cargo tech companies including Fernhay, Hub NYC, Civilized Cycles and Urban Rover, among others.


CITIBIKE IS A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS, BUT HAS ISSUES —NYC Comptroller Lander highlights risks: a shift in ownership from Lyft and rising maintenance costs could destabilize the service. Urban Hubs promises to mitigate long-term CitiBike concerns, with more options and alternative surface transit options in case of subway disruptions from climate-related issues.


Bike bike ecosystem — NYC's Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) in September 2022 to support NYC's cycling ecosystem.

Secure Bike Parking: Facilities ensuring secure and user-friendly storage for bicycles and cargo bikes.
Last-Mile Cargo Bike Container Relay Facilities: Networked facilities for cost-effective cargo bike deliveries citywide.
Last-Mile Bike Rentals: Facilities for convenient round-trip bike rentals near public transit.
Bike Retail and Rental: Accessible, durable, and affordable bike retail and rental facilities.
Bike Supply, Recovery, and Repair: Comprehensive bike provision, restoration, and repair services.
Small-Scale Bike Repair: Self-serve and full-serve facilities for bike maintenance.
Cargo Bike Rental: Facilities for renting cargo bikes to replace motorized transport.
Traffic Gardens and Amusements: Car-free spaces for kids to learn safe street navigation.

(Mayor Bloomberg)

NYC IS DIRTY; THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS ARE LIKELY TO WORSEN NYC'S COMPETITIVENESS —Chicago is cleaner because it has alleyways. Part of Urban Hubs is to real-world test solutions, including retroactively adding a new type of alleyway.

Urban Populations

NYC, garbage capital — NYC generates 12 thousand tons of waste daily, marking a 375-ton increase in just five years due to population growth and e-commerce.

Store Garbage Off the Street — Implementing storage solutions to keep garbage off public streets.
Compact the Garbage — Using compaction methods to reduce the volume of waste for efficient disposal.
Divert Composting — Promoting composting to reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfills.
Remove Large Trucks from the Streets — Reducing street congestion and pollution by minimizing truck traffic.
Enable Future DSNY Clean Curbs Initiative — Supporting initiatives for cleaner and more efficient curbside waste collection.
Facilitate Commercial Waste Zones — Streamlining waste collection in designated zones for improved efficiency.
Showcase Innovation in Waste Management — Highlighting cutting-edge approaches to handling waste in urban areas.


EVER LOOK FOR A LOO IN NYC? —Boosting the number of public toilets in NYC is crucial, safeguarding a fundamental right while driving economic prosperity. A lack of adequate facilities compromises the city's reputation.

Borough President Levine's public toilet initiative aims to address the lack of public restroom facilities in New York City by advocating for the installation of clean, accessible, and well-maintained public toilets throughout the city. The initiative seeks to improve sanitation, public health, and quality of life for residents and visitors while also boosting tourism and supporting local businesses in the process.

Urban Populations

Toilets in unused retail  — FiDi has 22% retail vacancy, much of which is in tired buildings. Pedestrianization and transformation of FiDi into a carbon zero capital would likely make public toilets economically viable.

Visitor Comfort — Public toilets ensure visitor comfort, enhancing the overall experience at events.
Extended Stay — Access to public toilets encourages attendees to stay longer and explore the event fully.
Inclusivity — Inclusive restroom facilities cater to all attendees, including those with disabilities.
Emergency Preparedness — Public toilets are essential for safety and well-being during emergencies or unexpected situations.
Visitor Experience— Clean and well-maintained toilets contribute to a positive overall visitor experience.
Support for Local Businesses— Nearby businesses benefit when attendees have access to restroom facilities.
Health and Hygiene— Proper sanitation reduces the risk of unsanitary conditions and disease transmission.
NYC's Image — Hosting events with accessible public facilities enhances the city's image and reputation.


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