Easy to drive, small and cost-effective: golf carts are becoming an alternative to using cars in some communities. In the Southern states of the U.S. the golf cart culture is becoming so popular that it is changing the way people thinks of short-distance transport, to the point that the architecture of urban spaces is changing too, in order to accommodate them.
Once upon a time, golf carts were only used to move around on a golf green, or to navigate resorts. These days, golf carts, or NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles) are a frequent choice for the 60+ population, who are already making ways – rather literally – with their personalised models and original designs. From Atlanta to Texas and Palm Springs, we’re seeing carts everywhere: their riders are often retired ladies and gentlemen, who look a lot more at ease using them than a “real” car. According to CityLab, a urban studies website, over 50.000 golf carts populate The Village, one of Florida’s biggest age-restricted communities. Since a third of all transport happens by golf cart there, 90 miles of new tracks have now been built to accommodate them. Urban planning is adapting to welcome the golf cart, with newly planned roads, squares and bridges, half crazy golf, half futuristic city.