How does Smart Mobility affect the city? New innovations like driverless cars, electric vehicles, new forms of transport and increased information might be a game changer in urban planning.
In this article in Topos Magazine the authors claim that however 'smart' new technologies may be, it would be foolish to adapt our cities to every change they generate. Robust and flexible planning that enables many different lifestyles and activity patterns is the smart planning counterpart of smart technology: agile environments for all people now and for many years to come. This requires a reframing of the problem, as it is not the planner’s task that is uncertain, but rather that uncertainty is the planner’s task.
Diverse, compact cities, offering attractive public space for pedestrians and cyclists and good public transport for large numbers of users probably have a much better chance of delivering the required agility than development patterns that make us persistently dependent on cars or very specific technologies. And no, this does not mean we dismiss the advantages and achievements of ICTs. Smart cities should definitely incorporate them and make optimal use of them. ICTs may lead to a more complex, fragmented and unpredictable use of our cities, yet they also make people much more flexible in their activity and travel patterns – increasing the potential of successfully combining the freedom of movement with social and sustainability goals.
The success or failure of new technologies is in how they serve the quality of our lives, not in how we serve them.