Streets are the foundation of our urban life, they make up more than 80 per cent of all public space in London, used every day by millions of Londoners and tourists to move around, whether on foot, bicycle, car or bus.
They are the lifeblood for goods to be transported and moved around the city to keep it alive, alongside providing vital and regular places for green infrastructure, local markets and other social space for the city’s social life to occur.
The way we move in cities is changing, and the streets that support our movements must evolve. Advances in automated vehicle technologies have developed quickly over the past few years, with predictions to have autonomous vehicles (AV) running in London as early as 2021, and trials already underway in some UK cities. E-mobility and innovation in smart-technologies, such as smart sensors, provide huge opportunities to revolutionise the transport system, promising a more flexible, easier, enjoyable service. Yet, there are currently no certainties that the arrival of new technologies will actually decrease the level of traffic, or make our streets better and healthier. How will the current physical infrastructure of streets adapt? How will the arrival of autonomous vehicles interact with cyclists and pedestrians? Will AV be privately owned, or provided as a shared service? Will we need new lanes for pick-up and drop off for deliveries by automated vehicles and drones? Where will electric charging points be placed and how will they be maintained? Will current parking facilities be redundant and require reuse and repurposing? What will life in London look like in the age of autonomous technology?
This research seeks to investigate the impact and opportunity of technology and new mobility in London, looking at how multiple technological developments and new strategies help to promote new street-based mobility solutions, that are also multi-modal, socially inclusive, accessible and environmentally sustainable. London is at a critical juncture in its policy and design to reimagine how we use the street which may require us to understand how we want to use the limited space to communicate and prioritise the city’s true values.
Please note that we do not ship internationally for the time being.
Definitions & Acronyms
The History of London’s Streets
The Mobility Landscape
Emerging Mobility Technologies
Policy, Design and Practice: Building towards an Uncertain Future
Published November 2019