CPA NextGen and IE School of Architecture & Design have created the NextGen International Taskforce. It brings together international talent to share ideas about the real-estate sector and built environment. NextGen professionals meet bi-monthly to discuss topics like sustainability, inclusion, technology, cities, and well-being.
These conversations focus on the future of cities as well as how to create a better future for businesses and people. This edition was attended by 12 professionals who discussed sustainable mobility and the impact it has on housing.
Multidisciplinary members of the taskforce come from all over the world, including London and Madrid, Paris, Montreal, Capetown, Montreal, Paris and Montreal. To address the first question on the docket for this session–micromobility–the team shared their insights on their own cities’ efforts to implement a micromobility infrastructure in recent years.
The discussion highlighted the fact that micromobility solutions offer a new way to move around, but also has its challenges.
One of the most pressing issues was how to introduce sustainable mobility solutions that can be used in conjunction with public transport systems. Momentum Transport’s Ollie Bolderson stated that while Transport for London encourages people to cycle and walk, it is not in line with their business model because they don’t receive any revenue. He suggests that transportation authorities regulate micromobility, and charge operators a licensing fees. This will give them a cohesive oversight and the ability to plan journeys for both public and private modes.
The limitations that are imposed on people who live on the outskirts larger cities was another important issue. Urban e-scooter operators often prohibit users from traveling beyond city limits. This poses another socioeconomic problem. Many suburban dwellers are dependent on cars because of the high housing prices in central cities.
Paula Gonzalez (Gloval), a Spanish-based micromobility expert, and Hamish Crockett (RSHP), commented that both Madrid and Paris had seen micromobility solutions “overnight”, and that there were few regulations and regard for safety and health. After a few years, micromobility is safer and more controlled. There are parking lots and limited use on congested roads.
The success rate of micromobility in urban centers varies greatly from one city to the next. Momentum Transport’s Amelie Cosse commented on Montreal’s failure to offer micromobility to residents despite similar success in other parts Canada. Momentum Transport’s London branch, Ollie Bolderson, noted that London’s borough by borough policy does not allow for a cohesive approach. He also said that scooters were banned from London’s public transport system due to the risk of battery fires.
The taskforce also addressed the issue of macromobility and shared their thoughts about the future state of highways. As transportation shifts occur, with a trend away from personal vehicles to favor micro solutions, large stretches of highway will likely be underutilized by shared vehicles and self driving cars. This could result in significant road space being freed up that could be used in other ways.
Participants discussed potential ways to retrofit existing railway and highway infrastructures. This could include making them more biophilic, or equipping them with bicycles and autonomous vehicles. The team also suggested ideas to make them suitable for vertical take-off and landing systems.
The session ended with a discussion about the shift to working remotely and the ripple effects it might have in cities and suburbs as well as the design of homes.
The taskforce noted that both workers and companies are interested in creating better, safer homes for remote work. This technology includes apps that control lighting and ventilation as well as home-safety measures such face recognition to allow entry. Robotic furniture is becoming more popular to maximize storage space and make work from home easier.