In 1950, 30% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will reach 68%. Fast growing urban populations and climate change force policymakers to develop new strategies for sustainable urban mobility. Designers and planners have to rethink how new infrastructures are integrated into cities, communities and people’s every-day life.
Marco te Brömmelstroet, Ton Venhoeven and Arne Lijbers gave a presentation on Urban Mobility
This webinar was moderated by Peter Derkse.
Marco te Brömmelstroet (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Does a deer cross the road? Or does the road run through its forest? As a society, we have learned in recent decades to view mobility as something that should be as easy, quick and cheap as possible. As people and businesses, we want to get from A to B quickly and the longer we are on the road, the more it costs. We see this in almost all mobility innovations. But, more importantly, we also see it in our own streets.
To make mobility easier for everyone, much of our public space has been sacrificed to traffic flow and parking. At the expense of all the other ways the street was, and can be, used. Our children, in particular, are increasingly losing their space to play and their autonomy.
The through-traffic language we have come to speak about mobility is not a mirror, but determines what we can and cannot see and how our street will look. But we can change that! All it takes is for us to question our perspective and actively explore alternatives. Let’s do that!
Marco te Brömmelstroet, Professor in Urban Mobility Futures, University of Amsterdam. As a researcher and teacher Marco is fascinated by how mobility shapes our cities and societies (and vice versa). Currently, his research focuses on the role of mobility narratives in defining problems and seeking solutions. In all this, he strongly feels that Dutch cycling can offer a powerful lens.
Ton Venhoeven (VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism)
‘The ideal for healthy, sustainable cities is to be able to reach “everything” on foot, by bicycle or by public transport. We have the ambition to realize cities where pedestrians are in the lead and car traffic is limited. We believe in creating vibrant and happy communities based on the mutual proximity of complementary functions, such as housing mixed with offices, maker spaces, vegetable gardens, day-care centres and a pleasant public space.
In order to achieve this, it is important to work towards a single integrated, multimodal mobility system. In this system, hubs are the essential links for smooth transitions between modalities, both within the city and far beyond. Mobility hubs can contribute to the quality of life in the city and improved traffic flows. Those hubs are thus the perfect locations for future developments.’
Ton Venhoeven is founder and design director of VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism. He has a background in design and engineering as well as in policy making and academia. As Chief Government Advisor on Infrastructure (2008-2012) Venhoeven advised the Dutch National government on sustainability of infrastructural, urban and regional plans. During his time as professor of architectural history and theory at Eindhoven University (2005-2009) his design research focused on the pedestrian city of tomorrow.
Arne Lijbers (Mecanoo)
The journey of the future of mobility, is a question for today. Mobility is a necessity; it is part of our daily routine, just like living, working and recreation. For me, designing for mobility is about giving people a sensory experience during their daily journey. We see mobility as a tool for connecting communities, enabling new experiences and creating efficiencies in a complex, rapidly changing sector.
With the growing demand for shared, personalised and green mobility, we face many design challenges. Mecanoo is involved in all aspects of mobility solutions, ranging from urban scale strategies, station and mobility hub design, shared mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) planning, toolkits for integrated multimodal elements, to the imagination of infrastructure for new green electric alternatives.
Our ambitions are high, as are the challenges and uncertainties within the mobility sector. We believe in the “romance of the journey” and think that the best way to predict the future is simply to design it!
Arne Lijbers graduated from Delft University of Technology in 2011 and joined Mecanoo in 2012. He is specialised in translating complex project assignments into tangible designs.
Currently Arne is project architect for a wide range of projects of different sizes, from urban planning to furniture design. Among his assignments are innovative projects such as a master plan for 2,100 houses in Haarlem, the Rabobank Advice Centre in Sittard, the Student Campus Hotel in Rotterdam, the LocHal Library in Tilburg, and the interior design for the train of the future.
An important focus area is an innovative living, working and educational environment.
Arne: ‘Architecture is more than buildings, it is about creating your own environment. I believe architecture can add more quality to life in all its aspects, it can help us grow, create and excel’