3: Technology and policy options

3: Technology and policy options

The role of city leaders is not to study problems, but to do something about them, says contributor Paul Amos.

But what? This chapter brings together state-of-the-art global practice to answer this question. Within today’s policy context, the argument is frequently seen as car versus city, suggests John Miles. But should it be seen that way?

Perhaps if we adjusted our perspective to see the challenge as providing personal urban mobility, new and very exciting opportunities would unfold, drawing on the burgeoning capabilities which are arriving in this new age of intelligent systems, ubiquitous computing, infinite communications, smart networks and the internet of things. These technologies enable us to understand the mobility continuum from private to public and from personal to mass transit, and to design and plan accordingly.

We consider: big data and urban analytics: emerging information and communication technologies provide desirable new opportunities for enhancing urban mobility; uses for largely untapped streams of information about urban mobility and the location, timing, and characteristics of urban activities that motivate (or substitute for) personal travel and destination choices; will improved mobility tends to induce increased travel, burden transportation infrastructure, complicate sustainability efforts, and risk adverse distributional impacts? smart networks: synchronising traffic lights, facilitating car-sharing and taxi pickups;? applications for usage-pricing strategies; improved behavioral models for explaining urban activity patterns and land use changes;

Classic political challenges remain but, through a candid analysis of how decision-making and appraisal processes can be supported and improved, this book offers innivative and realistic solutions. frameworks for moving from car travel to urban mobility, including a quantum improvement in the quality of the public transport system, encompassing convenience, cleanliness, reliability and safety and affordability, and how this can be delivered.