From Bike Chain to Blockchain: Three Questions About Cooperation Platforms and Mobility

Should transport systems be designed to save time – or calories? Who should own mobility sharing platforms: private companies? cities? us? What kind of ecosystem is needed to support the sharing platforms we want? These three questions are the focus of a workshop in London  on 25 November. I’ve asked a three friends to join me on a panel: Tessy BrittonCo-founder of Civic Systems Lab and … [continue …]

2016-03-10T18:29:45+00:00November 16th, 2015|Moving|

Cloud Commuting

A two-year project in Belgium proposes new relationships between people, goods, energy, equipment, spaces, and value. Its design objective: a networked mobility ecosystem 

Mobilotoop taxi-van

The signs on the small van describe the services it supports: Taxi; Pick-up; Delivery; Assistance; Vendor; Security; Rental.

Seven functions, one vehicle. As imagined in a project in Belgium … [continue …]

2015-07-24T16:42:29+00:00March 25th, 2014|most read, Moving|

Green Tourism: Why It Failed And How It Can Succeed

Packaged mass tours account for 80 percent of journeys to so-called developing countries, but destination regions receive five percent or less of the amount paid by the traveller. For local people on the ground, the injustice is absurd: if I were to pay e1,200 for a week long trek in Morocco’s Atlas mountains, just e50 would go to the cook … [continue …]

2014-01-21T11:51:35+00:00June 25th, 2013|development & design, most read, Moving|

A smooth journey

Two images have preoccupied me in recent days.
The first one [below] was taken in a lounge at Paris airport. I remember being struck by the intense design effort that had been made to create a controlled and insulated environment. On the tv screen were images of the popular revolt that is unfolding, bloodily, in Yemen. But the sound was … [continue …]

2012-04-02T16:08:40+00:00May 3rd, 2011|energy & design, most read, Moving|

Leave nothing but footsteps

Three years ago German photographer Thomas Kalak published a book called Thailand – Same same, but different!.
Featuring all manner of bamboo scaffolding, knotted aerial lines, hand painted signs, or converted plastic bags, the book celebrated the Thais’ exceptionally gifted art of improvisation.
The strange objects and arrangements reminded Kalak of art world “ready-mades” from the beginning … [continue …]

2010-11-02T09:05:26+00:00November 2nd, 2010|Moving|

A Tale of Two Trains

Oslo Airport’s mean-looking bullet train reaches the city centre in nineteen minutes. At 210 kph [130 mph] it is not the world’s fastest – some of China’a new trains will soon reach nearly twice that speed – but Norway’s is surely the most macho to look at.

Traveling on Oslo’s mean-looking machine for nineteen minutes costs … [continue …]

2017-06-13T18:30:40+00:00October 31st, 2010|most read, Moving|

Heathrow chaos: time to start digging?

(Summer re-run: first published 31 March 2008)
The chaos at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is an excellent example of what happens when the logic of finance interacts with the logic of large complex systems.
As Will Hutton wrote at the weekend, shareholders in British Airways (its sole tenant) and BAA (which runs the airport) demand perpetually growing dividends. Financial returns on … [continue …]

2010-08-05T16:53:37+00:00August 5th, 2010|Moving|

How to be global, and great, without traveling

While I’m away, would you help me promote these new editions of my book? In The Bubble has now been translated into French, Italian and Portuguese – and I’d appreciate your support in three ways:
a) buy-and-send copies for all your French, Italian and Portuguese-speaking friends around the world;
b) tell everyone you know, who speaks those languages, that these editions are … [continue …]

2009-04-19T08:47:45+00:00April 19th, 2009|Moving|

Thirteen million lighters and it’s still dark out there

A gem from CryptoGram.“Surprising nobody, a new study concludes that airport security isn’t helping: A team at the Harvard School of Public Health could not find any studies showing whether the time-consuming process of X-raying carry-on luggage prevents hijackings or attacks. They also found no evidence to suggest that making passengers take off their shoes and confiscating small items … [continue …]

2008-01-15T20:59:04+00:00January 15th, 2008|Moving|

The movement dilemma

Can transport and tourism ever be sustainable? The movement of people and goods around the world consumes vast amounts of matter, energy, space, and time – most of it non-renewable. Could transport intensity be de-coupled from economic progress – and if so, how?

This event in October’s series of Dott Debates begins with two keynotes from international speakers. … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:08:12+00:00August 17th, 2007|Moving|

New concept of mobility – in three lines

I was asked by Seung Yoon Lee, at Korean Design Research Institute, for a three line quote on “a new concept of mobility due to ubiquitous technologies”. (It’s for an upcoming issue of Asian Design Journal).
So I sent this: “Reducing the movement of matter – whether goods, or people – is a main challenge in the transition to sustainability. Technology, … [continue …]

2007-07-05T07:52:39+00:00July 5th, 2007|Moving|

Design and sustainable tourism

The next Dott 07 (Designs of the time) Explorers Club meeting on Thursday 14 July, to be held at the Robert Stephenson Centre in Newcastle. Our focus this month is Sustainable Tourism.

In terms of someone’s carbon footprint, a single holiday in New Zealand is equivalent to 60 short visits to the North East. But those … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:09:42+00:00June 23rd, 2007|Moving|

My long walk home

I chose a bad place to read George Monbiot’s new book Heat – the transit lounge of Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi Airport.

I already knew that flying is an indefensible way to travel because of its contribution to global warming. But I’ve comforted myself over the years with the idea that what environmentalists call a ‘soft landing’ could be … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:12:38+00:00October 17th, 2006|Moving|

Mobility, death, and progress

How was the traffic on your vacation drive home this year? Any near misses? Twenty thousand citizens are killed in traffic accidents in Europe each year, so you probably saw more than one car crash or its aftermath.

For the European Commission, these deaths are a price we must pay for progress. As a de facto marketing agency for the mobility … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:15:07+00:00August 10th, 2006|Moving|

Longer? smarter? stronger?

Transhumanists believe in efforts by human beings to “reshape their inherited physical, cognitive and emotional identities by extending lifespan and enhancing human capacities”. I admit to a prejudice that transhumanists share this enthusiasm because they are all bald, bearded, and barking. But not all transhumanists are death-fearing loony-tunes and word reaches me from Lucy Kimbell of a seriously … [continue …]

2006-02-19T13:27:03+00:00February 19th, 2006|Moving|

From my car to scalar

To a car company, replacing the chrome wing mirror on an SUV with a carbon fibre one is a step towards sustainable transportation. To a radical ecologist, all motorised movement is unsustainable. So when is transportation sustainable, and when is it not?

Eric Britton, an expert on the subject, had the good idea of posting a text at Wikipedia … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:18:56+00:00February 6th, 2006|Moving|

Trans-Siberian mobicast

If mobility is a new place, then this event is the place to be.

Capturing the Moving Mind is a conference on board the Trans-Siberian train. It’s about new forms of movement and control, war and economy, in the current situation. An opening discussion of the blurring borderlines between art, economy and politics takes place at Kurvi tomorrow. After that, … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:19:39+00:00September 6th, 2005|Moving|

If the terrorists don’t get you your socks will

Outside Baghdad, and almost everywhere one might travel in the world, the risk of being killed in a road accident greatly exceeds the risk of being killed by a terrorist.

John Adams – Britain’s leading academic expert on risk, and author of a seminal book by that title – wrote a paper on this issue last year. He has … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:24:54+00:00July 25th, 2005|Moving|

The true costs of mobility

As a system, mobility is locked into a mode of perpetual growth in a world whose carrying capacity is limited. The status quo policy of ‘predict and provide’ promises more travel (of people and goods), forever, but using new technologies and integrated systems to make mobility more efficient.

A second design strategy is mobility substitution – doing things at a distance … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:26:46+00:00April 29th, 2005|Moving|

The information society and land take

Land is a finite resource but we consume it as if it were limitless – especially for mobility.

John Whitelegg, a transport ecologist, reports that in Switzerland, the land allocation for road transport is 113 m2 per person – and for all other living purposes (houses/gardens and yards) it’s 20-25 m2 per person.

The knowledge economy, far from reducing our consumption … [continue …]

2013-07-25T08:28:10+00:00December 17th, 2004|Moving|
Go to Top