The Business Side of Things

Although these vans and boats often circulate independently, residents also form collectives, which they have christened Carborhoods  (when on land) or Harborhoods (when at sea). While some of these cars and vans may serve solely as mobile residences, many of them also operate as businesses, and provide social and transit-related services to the community. 

Despite the mobile nature of these Fluid Neighborhoods, and the daily fluctuations in the mix of services offered at a given carborhood or harborhood, there are often patterns in the types of services offered at a particular location, and these communities tend to persist in the same location for a short period of time.

Original image from Empire Stores.

Original image from Empire Stores.

Original image from Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

Original image from Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

Due to this, it has become commonplace for residents of all types to depend on these communities for their services, and for them to become integrated into the existing public systems and infrastructure. For example, the recent innovations in transportation bots have allowed these hybrid vans and boats to be integrated into existing transportation infrastructure. For other common services such as cafes, nap-pods, or artist pop-ups, "Adaptive Maps" have arisen as a useful digital tool in tracking the location of a specific service-supplying vehicle.  

These services often congregate at convenient customer drop-off/pick-up spots at specific times of day.  However, as this fluid live-work approach has gained momentum, frictions have arisen between residents of traditional permanent neighborhoods and those of the Fluid Neighborhoods. The appeal of being able to easily follow business in our rapidly changing economy is undeniable, but the consequence is that these new neighborhoods may seemingly supplant an existing neighborhood overnight.

Map from ArcGIS.

Map from ArcGIS.