How smartphones and new mobility options will reshape our cities
Eighty percent of our smartphone usage is social media. Mobility-focused usage is limited to navigation aids and Uber-like services. But things are changing. Smartphones have become as powerful as laptops. This provides us with new opportunities for action in our physical-digital living environment. For instance, in the form of augmented reality.
Mobility itself is in transition too. Technology is evolving ever faster. Five trends will fundamentally change our movement and behavioural patterns: Mobility-as-a-Service, self-driving transport, the pizza economy, self-regulating traffic management, and AR/VR. How do these trends influence each other?
The smartphone has become indispensable. We stay up to date with people we never actually see. We have access to unlimited information and contribute data 24/7 in return. But with new possibilities come new problems. The smartphone creates both freedom and dependence. And makes us both smarter and dumber.
We are all society. But society is not simply the sum of individual wishes. Group and aggregate behaviour are just as meaningful. Social consequences are hard to predict in complex-adaptive systems like contemporary cities. Who wins? Who loses? Archetypes form an important framework to search for clues.
The revolutions in mobility and connectivity lead to new bottom-up motion and usage patterns. And top-down to near real-time insights. How does this impact the design of the 21st century Emergent City? Combining crowdsourced mobility data and urban network analysis reveals fundamental undercurrents, providing a basis for evidence based design.
But the mythical data driven society is not a desirable path towards the future. Urban network analysis methods like space syntax provide a way to pair mobility data to socio-economic info. And to compare these data to underlying potential and finally judge all this from a vision on the city. As a fundament for societal relevant and evidenced-based design.
Smartphones, hybrid realities, crowdsourced data and complex-adaptive systems. How to deal with these as a designer? Is there any toolkit available to implement these in our daily practice? Here we provide seven simple principles to implement. Plus an inspiring investigation into a new design problem: The midsize urban mobility hub.
Emergent City needs laws and rules at a different level. Open data has become a societal necessity and has to be enforced. Change has become a permanent condition and requires a different form of regulation. And how should government reposition itself between self-organising citizens and multinational giants?
Architects, urbanists and landscape designers have to familiarise themselves with meaningfully incorporating the digital realm into physical design. How do we best serve citizens and society in a hybrid world? What skills do we need to embrace? What coalitions do we need to forge?