We are living in an unprecedented moment: for the first time in the history of humanity, there are more people living in cities than not. According to figures from the the UN’s Sustainability Development Report, 54% of humanity lives in condensed urban areas, and this trend is continuing forward.
The urgency to address issues of sustainability within cities and urban communities becomes heightened as our spaces become more complex and more intertwined, and as we face the challenges of a changing climate.
As cities expand—growing both upward and outward—we are pressed to find solutions that allow people to move around and travel between the different parts of the city. Sometimes it feels as though pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists (not to mention scooterists, skateboarders, wheelchair users, etc) are in a three-way battle for road share and personal safety. Redesign an above-ground system in which these methods coexist without losing functionality.
Keep in mind many of the innovations that have been implemented in cities throughout the world: bike-share programs; even-odd rationing (whereby private vehicles are allowed on the roads only if the last digit of their license plate is odd or even, depending on the day); dedicated high-speed bus lanes; UberPOOL; etc.
I interviewed Zarni Ko, Lead Product Designer at Uber, San Francisco. To see some of the sustainability efforts that Uber is advancing, see here and here. For notes & insights on the interview, please message me.
…and Leroy Becket, Communications Manager & Spokesperson for the Auckland-based organization Generation Zero. To learn more about their remarkable movement, see here. For a notes & insights on the interview, please message me.
[image via Inhabitat.com]