Mobility is a millennia-old urban issue. It’s the other side of location, location, location.
Theories come and go about which mode of transportation technology --- whether train, bus, car or walk --- works best. But fundamentally, the core human drivers for mobility can be expressed broadly as:
1.) How do you get from where are to what you want?
2.) How do you get what you want to where you are?
Those two broad categories decisively influence how we move our physical selves and our physical goods in an urban environment. From that daily repetition of millions of individual purposes, journeys and experiences, there emerges much of the character of a city.
Until recently, public policy and private interest surrounding mobility focused mainly on transportation technologies like trains, buses, cars and their associated routes. But mobile phones --- especially smartphones --- have become critical transportation technologies in the 21st century. Starting out as a way to extend the human voice, mobile phones are making the rest of the body mobile via mapping apps and on-demand transportation services like Uber and Lyft.
This is changing how urban transportation authorities approach their charter to the public. Moreover, the changes associated with improving mobility in cities accelerates further the more we augment our urban environments with sensors, beacons and other information gathering and/or processing technologies.
To understand more, The Augmented City sat down with Greg Lindsay, senior fellow and head of the connected mobility initiative at the New Cities Foundation. The New Cities Foundation is a global non-profit research & community organization focused on improving urban life via smart policy supported by smart technology. Greg researched and authored a global report on Connected Mobility aimed at public transport officials. Greg is a journalist, urbanist, and futurist whose writings on urbanism and transport has appeared in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek and Fortune magazine.