Similar to high-end service-oriented tech companies like Uber, Breather, and MakeSpace, Postmates is built around a neat smartphone application. The on-demand delivery service works with a large pool of casual contractors who drive the cars and ride the bicycles to shift users’ stuff around on demand. Delivery fees start at $5 and are determined based on the distance of the delivery.
What makes Postmates particularly interesting is that it enables you to get products delivered from any business, whether it offers delivery or not. It’s one of those intelligent services that are able to make cities and life in cities more pleasant and efficient. Most governments and urban designers have a hard time defining what a ‘Smart City’ is, and when they have an idea, they tend to think of a Modernist, master-planned city stacked with sensors, cameras, and hardcore technology. At the same time they easily overlook the wave of service-oriented tech companies like Postmates, Uber, Breather, and MakeSpace, that are well capable of making cities work more efficiently, and contribute to the Smart City in a bottom-up way.