To view a city from above is to observe a world in motion. Trains carry people to and from work; taxis circulate in abstract patterns; trucks deliver goods and carry away garbage; pedestrians hustle down city blocks; cyclists zip through traffic. Mobility is the lifeblood of our cities and essential for urban life.
What, then, will be the future of urban mobility? This report, co-produced by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and McKinsey & Company, seeks to answer that question. To do so, it explores how a number of existing social, economic, and technological trends will work together to disrupt mobility at the local level.
The result is a radically different future based around three models of advanced urban mobility that are achievable by 2030. Inevitably, individual cities will make different decisions, based on specific local conditions, and go in different directions – while, globally, mobility systems in 2030 will on average look very much like they do today.
Yet there is a cluster of some 50 urban areas, which could lead the way towards one of the three advanced mobility models. These areas have the potential to demonstrate the profound effects of mobility innovation on everything from power systems to the use of public space, while simultaneously introducing a new city dynamism.
The mobility systems of the future, the report concludes, are likely to be very different to what exists in most of the world today. The individual traveler is at the heart of this evolution, so consumers will need to be open to adopting new technologies and services. However, both the public and private sectors will have roles to play in paving the way.