Smart futures

Smart Cities

Cities are facing an urgent set of challenges as a number of social, technological, economic, environmental and political impacts place further stress on already straining systems. As new business models and technologies try and solve these challenges, huge uncertainties about how these will impact urban environments over the long term remain.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century we are witnessing another rapid technological revolution, with communication-based technologies enabling radically different approaches to mobility for both people and goods. Even as hotbeds of innovation, the fundamentals of city infrastructure, healthcare, construction and transport systems among many others has not changed significantly over the last 50 years. Driven by population growth, consumer expectations, fiscal concerns, and environmental and health fears, mobility ecosystems are in a state of flux. The urban landscape must now shift or even radically transform to meet this change.

Now is the time to consider the change that is occurring and understand the problems we are trying to solve. We must think about how to shape urban mobility systems today, as what we do now will impact our cities for decades and centuries to come.

Rethinking urban mobility

Gowling WLG's latest white paper Rethinking Urban Mobility: Three questions that will shape the future of transport in cities, produced in collaboration with the London Transport Museum, Arup and Thales UK, is intended to drive the conversation around the complex infrastructural evolutions occurring in urban environments to further stimulate the mobility revolution.

To understand the effects of these developments a series of debates were held, exploring a range of issues and opinions on the key questions facing the transport sector, the results of which have given rise to this report. Rethinking Urban Mobility reflects on these conversations and the emerging themes, to make the debate more transparent and increase the speed of progress.

In the report we consider:

  • What role cities should play in shaping change?
  • How will demand-responsive transport impact urban systems?
  • Do the economic fundamentals of urban transport systems still add up?; and
  • Recommendations for future cities.

Shaping the future

In an age of uncertainty, we must acknowledge that disruptive change brings with it many challenges but also that it affords great opportunity for the future of infrastructure in cities.

Bringing together public and private entities, Rethinking Urban Mobility serves to fuel the conversations to enable transformational growth, to give rise to sustainable mobility systems that enhance the quality of life of city residents.

We hope you find the report a thought-provoking and stimulating read. If you would like to talk to anyone from Gowling WLG regarding the Rethinking Urban Mobility report, or for more on the future of urban infrastructure, please contact Giles Clifford and Matt Hervey.

Rethinking Urban Mobility: Three questions that will shape the future of transport in cities

Paving the Way Autonomous Vehicles White Paper

'Rethinking Urban Mobility: Three questions that will shape the future of transport in cities'  explores some  of the challenges raised by the impact of digital and other new technologies on mobility within our urban areas.

Produced in collaboration with the London Transport Museum, Arup and Thales UK, Rethinking Urban Mobility brought together more than 60 leading thinkers and decision makers from across the transport industry to consider the challenges and opportunities facing city transport systems and infrastructure in the UK.

The topics addressed include changing transport user demands, autonomous and intelligent technology and strategic policies needed to achieve change.

Elaborated in full within the report, we focus on public-private collaboration; enabling bold local decision-making; seamless journeys and new technology; meeting lower carbon emission targets; ensuring affordable public transport; and contributing to health and wellbeing.

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