Urban Family

URBAN FAMILY is a service that combines smart phones and daily routines to give people a fast and easy way to lend a helping hand to their neighbors. This project is a design exploration that approaches the isolating effects of increased individualism and independence in urban environments.

Urban Family allows neighbors to sign-up to receive messages requesting small errands from their elderly neighbors. The service uses geo-fencing to contact people in the neighborhood Urban Family network only when they enter local grocery stores and shops.

Elderly users request an item from a local shop by calling a live customer service person who will help them place the order over the phone. The service is designed for one or two small items rather than a large weekly shop.

Urban Family ensures users only receive requests from people living within a 2-3-block radius of their homes. This is both convenient for the person picking up the item and gives their elderly neighbors the piece of mind that no one will need to go out of their way in order to get them an item or two from the shop.

Concept development: At its core, Urban Family is about creating an “excuse” to initiate an interaction between neighbors, and using technology to tap into local resources in an uncomplicated way. Taking this project further, I would like to explore applying the service model to a single apartment building or street to capitalize on and/or strengthen a pre-existing sense of shared economy.