This is the summary of a talk I gave recently at a Mob Ox event in Oxford. It picks up some of the ideas in this post about Uber, and is especially relevant in relation to Waymo’s recent announcement.
It focusses on some work we’ve been doing to understand how infrastructure and land use interact in cities, and uses this to frame the conversation around these mobility services
A couple of weeks back the Design Council Newsletter re-published some work from 2014, looking at how Hackney had become one of the most liveable boroughs in London. This is evidenced by an increase in people cycling to work and a decline in those driving – both around or over 10%.
One of the reasons set out for this change in behaviour is the success of policies implemented over the last 10 years, which include re-designing residential streets. In particular the use of “filtered permeability” – using bollards to make some streets only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists – is described as part of this achievement.
Increasing active travel share and decreasing private car use is very positive, however, closing streets immediately raises questions around the wider impacts.
In a very quick summary there are three major issues with filtered permeability:
- Fragmented networks increase congestion and lengthen car trips
- Increased likelihood of air pollution in higher density, mixed use areas
- Reduced levels of natural surveillance impact personal safety
These points are expanded in the post below: Read More
As Uber has lost its license to operate in London, here are some points about the potential it offers and how it could be improved further:
1. Provide mobility in places traditional public transport can’t work
2. Apply dynamic pricing in a progressive way
3. Provide driver facilities
These are described in a little more detail below – this is all written from an urban perspective, and excludes everything around business ethics, personal safety, insurance etc which has had a lot of coverage in the mainstream media.