The past 50 years have seen massive growth in private car transport. Our cities, our economy and our everyday habits have all been moulded around the flexibility and speed of the car. We’ve become a ‘car society’. But cars have also brought us persistent congestion and pollution. How will mobility evolve in the coming decades? Is the car era drawing to a close? And what will ‘sustainable mobility’ look like?
In New Mobility, Arie Bleijenberg debunks some long-held axioms about mobility. Subsidies for public transport and electric cars are not an effective way of reducing pollution. Relieving congestion is not a good compass for a thriving economy. Bleijenberg elaborates a broad and surprising vision on the fundamental forces shaping transport mobility.
- Speed is the strongest factor driving mobility, but this doesn’t mean greater speed saves time (p. 12).
- By around 2050 we’ll be clocking up more kilometres in the air than on the road (p. 19).
- To strengthen the economy, relieving congestion shouldn’t be the main aim (p. 26).
- Accessibility derives from speed and from short distances, and thus also from urbanization (p. 27).
- It’s not the industrial economy and transport infrastructure but its major cities that are the economic motor of the 21st century (p. 32).
- It’s not in dormitory towns and on desolate commercial estates that the knowledge economy thrives (p. 39).
- That city-dwellers spend more time on travel than those in the country is a sign that transport provisions in the major cities are lagging behind (p. 45).
- Green technology will provide the lion’s share of the required cuts in transport carbon emissions (p. 48).
- Clamping onto outmoded habits of thought means a tendency to do ‘more of the same’ (p. 60).
- The new mobility narrative leads to a different view of the effectiveness of government policy (p. 67).
Arie Bleijenberg has been involved in mobility issues for over 25 years. Through his work as a researcher, consultant and government advisor, in combination with his efforts on behalf of environmental and other NGOs, he has been able to unravel the complex relationships between transport mobility, spatial planning, and the economy.
“New mobility is a goldmine of insights into how transportation is changing. Arie Bleijenberg should be read by anyone interested in the future of mobility and cities.”
Bent Flyvbjerg, Professor and Chair at Oxford University
Bert van Wee, Professor of Transport Policy at Delft University of Technology