On-demand transit can unlock urban mobility

News update – November 15th, 2019
In our weekly news filter, we share the most interesting articles related to technology and the future of cities and buildings.

The Boston Consulting Group Think Tank published a report on urban mobility. BCG sees on-demand transit as a middle path between the inflexibility of traditional, fixed stop public transport bus services, and the convenience of ride hailing, which is responsible for two-thirds of the increase in traffic congestion. The study shows that on-demand transit services paired with regulations to discourage personal car ownership, could reduce traffic in cities by 15 % to 30 %, and thus lower pollution and congestion. Furthermore, BCG states that on-demand transit services could operate on lower subsidies than public transport and enhance customer experience. In order to maximize the social and environmental benefits of on-demand transit, BCG recommends that cities and on-demand transit services experiment to create alternatives to fixed route public transport, and to use the new services to create more convenient connections to public transport hubs.

See the full report here.

Newsweek drew our attention with a nice opinion piece on the necessity of art in the (smart) city. Author Ben Pomion suggests that artists plugged into the smart city systems could use sensor data to create works of art that blend into already built environments, like light and movement in public fountains that respond to coin tosses and fingers drawn through the water. Pomion even thinks on the role of crowdsourced data in art; for example, citizens could opt into personalized or interactive art experiences based on their smartphone or fitness tracker data, reflecting the mood, health or general activity of the city in real time.

Check out the article here.


One art that is mentioned in the article is Archive Dreaming by Refik Anadol. “Commissioned to work with SALT Research collections, Anadol employed machine learning algorithms to search and sort relations among 1,700,000 documents. Interactions of the multidimensional data found in the archives are, in turn, translated into an immersive media installation. Archive Dreaming, which is presented as part of The Uses of Art: Final Exhibition with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union, is user-driven; however, when idle, the installation “dreams” of unexpected correlations among documents. The resulting high-dimensional data and interactions are translated into an architectural immersive space.” (Source: Vimeo)