Urban Mobility Workshop 2018 – Public Debates

18 September 2018

The Urban Mobility Public Debate explored how new technologies could open up an exciting range of opportunities in which the infrastructure of movement and the architecture of buildings can physically merge together.

The Urban Mobility Public Debate, moderated by Tim Stonor, gathered a selection of members from the academic body to provide a wider scope on new visions for urban mobility.

Norman Foster introduced this series of debates by emphasising today’s revolution in transport, and how cities will dramatically transform in the near future in combination with artificial intelligence. Following Foster’s words, Stonor described a paradox of the digital age. The physical world can now be explored in depth from a static position while, at the same time, evolving technology measures migration and population movement to new levels of accuracy.

With a vision reflecting on social impact, Alfredo Brillembourg highlighted eight concepts emphasising how architecture can cause change in a community. He underlined the importance of connectivity between the different areas of cities.

Bringing policy-making issues to the fore, Tilly Chang talked about her work as an Executive Director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. On the other hand, Carlo Ratti reflected on the future, enquiring on how we can quantify and classify what happens today and what seems to come from tomorrow.

Where Tilly Chang had suggested dividing cities with less infrastructure, Brillembourg emphasised the relevance of not expanding cities, but encouraging growth patterns to be ‘recycled, reused, rethought and relived’. Ratti, developing his fellow participants’ arguments, and Brillembourg’s in particular, reasoned that greater efforts must be made for reusing (and especially better using) resources to promote greater sociability and equality. To conclude, Carlo Ratti and Tilly Chang considered how technology can provide a new range of opportunities through the infrastructure of movement and the architecture of buildings.

Participants: Alfredo Brillembourg, Tilly Chang, Norman Foster, Carlo Ratti and Tim Stonor.