On 11th of June 2019, the EU-funded project TER4RAIL organised a workshop at the UITP Summit in Stockholm, Sweden. The workshop aimed at bringing together various stakeholders: land-planners, urbanists, architects, digitalisation experts, smart-cities experts, operators focused on long-term vision, local transport authorities advanced in applying new technologies, and others active in research and design of long-term urban scenarios and transport of the future. These stakeholders were invited to discuss urban scenarios and the place of public transport in a city in 2050.
Three key-note speakers were welcomed in order to boost the discussion:
- Representative of industry: Giuseppe Attoma, CEO of ATTOMA with the presentation: “We shape our cities; thereafter they shape us. Designing tomorrow’s smart, liveable cities: some insights about methodologies and processes”.
- Representative of organising authorities: Jeremy Jap, Deputy Chief Executive (Public Transport, Policy & Planning), Land Transport Authority of Singapore with the presentation: “Possible scenarios for Singapore’s urban transportation landscape in 2040”.
- Representative of Academia: Dr. Anvita Arora, Program Director, Transport and Urban Infrastructure, KAPSARC with the presentation: “Global mega trends – what do they mean for the future of our cities”.
Representatives from different organisations enriched the discussion: Airbus, University of California, Transport for London, Navya, and others. Pierre Chehwan, VP Strategic Alliance of Navya, demonstrated the company’s vision on the place of automated vehicles in cities on the future.
Dr. Arora from KAPSARC presented global mega trends and what they mean for the future of the cities.
- Generation Z
New generation requires more flexible work environment and good quality of life (e.g., wellness programs), they will have more ethical and sustainable attitude to a life.
More women will be employed worldwide, vulnerable categories of people (e.g., low income, people with reduced mobility) will travel more.
- Shared value
Environmentally friendliness and social inclusion is a good business sense.
- Circular economy
Maximisation of resource usage: renewable energy, multiple use, recyclable waste, upgradable products will drive mobility innovations (industry and operation).
Internet of things will be integrated in different areas: goods delivery, transport networks, maintenance, health services, land use, etc. Data is becoming cheaper.
- Entrepreneurship Rising
Entrepreneurs will drive the solutions in the mobility market.
Despite the megatrends that are coming, tendency to preserve existing systems still exists. Changes in Europe are moving too slow. From the beginning, cities were created for cars and it is not easy to change the infrastructure or mindsets of people that are accustomed to the existing state of things (e.g., car drivers).
At the same time, LTA as an organising authority defined the following trends that influence the development of a city and its adoption:
- Environmental: climate change, global warming, rising sea levels;
- Social: diversity, inclusivity, ageing population, income divide;
- Transport: predictive algorithms for on-demand dynamic-responsive services, driverless vehicles, multi-functional drones (volocopters, inspection vehicles), MaaS, clean energy vehicles;
- Economic: rapid technological change, digital economy, significant structural shifts, slowing global growth and productivity;
- Land Use: continued growth of cities leading to housing shortages, traffic congestion; rapid urbanisation leading to alienation of suburban areas.
According to ATTOMA, the city of the future will use user-centric approach while developing a “use value-driven” design projects. Key features of such approach are:
Main tools for reaching the goals are:
- Co-design methodology that involves all stakeholder in the design process (e.g., workshops and round tables);
- Benchmarking and best-practices analysis;
- Definition of expected user experience;
- Foresight methodology.
Another question is: How to get to the planned transport future of the city? The city should listen to the changing needs of citizens and adopt the concepts of connectivity, convenience, inclusivity, comfort, sustainability and liveability to transport agenda.
Features of the transport in a city of future:
- Journeys should be optimised and it should take less time to the reach city facilities and work travelling from home;
- Metro systems are key for city’s development;
- Reliable rail system as the public transport backbone:
- Continuous maintenance & application of new technologies
- Improvement of reliability
- Transit-oriented development with future rail lines: polycentric development will enable optimal use of PT systems and bring more jobs closer to homes;
- BRT systems will provide more flexibility to the PT;
- Well-organised walking and cycling networks will improve first-and-last-mile connectivity;
- MaaS is enabler of seamless multi-modal journeys;
- Autonomous vehicles will be used for more direct journeys: they should be complementary and extending routes where mass transit transport unavailable, adaptive, flexible and inclusive;
- Inclusivity is an important factor in the transport systems of the future;
- Focus on the citizens’ health and liveability: more vibrant community spaces, active mobility, clean energy vehicles, focus on “zero fatalities”;
The destiny of new technologies such as flying taxis, passenger drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, hyperloops, and etc. are still unknown but may constitute a disruptive change in the transport services users’ behaviours, expectations, priorities.
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