What will the cities of tomorrow look like?
This post was authored by our Wunder Marketplace partner Ubiq.
We are living in unique times. Not only are we able to witness and participate in a global process of readapting, reshaping and refocusing, we can also easily influence every little step of the process – now more than ever.
At Ubiq, we are very happy to contribute to this process with our solutions and innovations. We believe that the importance of working together to reach common goals becomes stronger and more obvious by the day. But sometimes it seems easier said than done in a world that no longer looks the same. City centers are slowly coming back to life, having languished in the eerie silence of uncertainty. Yet things are far from being “normal” again. In fact, the old normal is gone and what’s left now are predictions and speculations of what the new normal will look like – and what that will mean for our cities and the world of mobility.
Governments, transport authorities and mobility providers need to be ready for this unclear future. Working together can and will make the process easier and more efficient. Where exactly do we stand now? We dove into the matter and we’re thrilled to share some of our insights.
The Impact of Governments
It’s no secret that two of the key players who can have the greatest impact on making significant changes in reshaping cities are governments and transport authorities. Yet not all governments are equal in their ability and willingness to actually engage in making these changes happen.
Recent studies have identified three main obstacles concerning this matter: the lack of vision, an unclear division of responsibilities between government and transport authorities, and a deficit of personal leadership. Resources are also scarce, limiting the type of actions that can be taken.
However, these are not determining factors and should not be used as an excuse for inaction. There is a shared fear that unless changes are made, the majority of top international transport authorities – maybe as many as two-thirds – may not be in a position to do what is necessary to drive the required change.
The Silver Lining
Cities and mobility systems have been drastically affected by the pandemic, and governments and authorities are still figuring out the best way to handle the crisis. But it’s not all for the worst. From the pedestrianization of streets to the repurposing of public spaces, cities around the world have had to reshape themselves to meet the needs of their citizens. Moreover, the numerous lockdowns and the increasingly popular home office solution have kept cars off the streets, making cities less congested.
These outcomes provide a playground for innovation. There is increased public awareness of environmental and health benefits, and rapid actions taken during the crisis by authorities and operators have demonstrated that agile decision-making is indeed possible.
Unlocking New Opportunities
Despite the circumstances, people still need to get around and demand will surge when economies reopen. The focus will first and foremost remain on ensuring people can safely get from A to B as comfortably and efficiently as possible, all while improving quality of life in urban areas by reducing traffic and cutting pollution.
Like many other important players in the industry, Ubiq has had this exact focus – even before COVID-19. The company’s belief is that shared mobility has the potential to transform cities, making them cleaner and less congested. With urbanization and climate change being the defining issues of our times, mobility is in a significant state of flux, with innovative solutions needed to address this new reality.
Ubiq believes that through a data-driven approach, these solutions can be both sustainable and profitable. And StreetCrowd™ represents a step closer to making all of this happen.
StreetCrowd™ is a technology platform that connects people to shared mobility and micromobility companies. Its goal is to help more people in cities get access to safe, clean and reliable shared mobility options. Users are paid to complete automatically created tasks for shared mobility providers. The main use case focuses on moving shared vehicles from areas of low demand to areas of high demand. Other use cases include electric car or scooter charging, cleaning, and other service tasks.
By utilizing the power of the crowd, mobility providers can benefit from a decentralized operational ecosystem for 24/7 fleet rebalancing. Ubiq takes care of recruiting, managing and paying the crowd.
The Cities of Tomorrow
When we think about the cities of the future, we like to imagine clean, sustainable and resilient places that harbor strongly connected communities. For this to become a reality, we need mobility systems that can facilitate a safe and efficient flow of people.
Choosing the mobility of people over the mobility of vehicles could make a great difference. Prioritizing walking, cycling, public transport and other efficient shared mobility, as well as having everything connected together, is how that change could be made. Technology-driven solutions from the private sector are a constant source of innovation and can offer a wide range of opportunities in making this happen.
Witnessing the growth of the shared mobility industry and its immense impact on how people move around makes it easier for us to be confident about making the cities of tomorrow a reality.