Urban Age Debate May 20, 2021

Urban Age Debate 3: Localising transport

Discussing the future of urban transportation and accessibility over the next decade with prominent leaders in the mobility field

Survey Summary Short Movie Edward Glaeser Blog entryPhilipp Rode Blog entry / Key Takeaways / Debate Recording / Trailer

For cities and urban accessibility, the early 2020s are going to be an inflection point hard to overestimate: digital connectivity will increasingly supplement physical access, public transport finance will require new business and funding models, and fiscal recovery packages have the potential to either further entrench transport-intense urban development patterns or accelerate progress towards closer urban proximities based on density and mixed use.

The greatest initial risk to sustainable urban transport may well be a pandemic-induced increase in the use of private motorised modes, and the perpetuation of car-centric urban development. At the same time many cities have witnessed increases in walking and cycling, and attracted significant investment to support these modes, alongside new forms of localising urban activities and transport.

As a result, uncertainties not only exist in relation to future mode shares but also travel distances within cities including travel to work and beyond. Will we witness a shift towards 15-minute walkable urban districts utilising digital connectivity for metropolitan and global accessibility or the persistence of a physically connected one-hour metropolitan region?

After the first Urban Age Debates in January and April, we now invite you to join the third Urban Age Debate “Localising transport: towards the 15-minute city or the one-hour metropolis?

We look forward to discussing the future of urban transportation and accessibility over the next decade with prominent leaders in the mobility field who have made profound impacts on the shape of cities. Our guests will be Sir Peter Hendy, the chair of Network Rail, which owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure, Edward Glaeser, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and Yolisa Kani, Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO) of Transnet, a state-owned company which owns and operates South Africa’s rail network, ports, and pipelines. Co-chairs of the debate are Philipp Rode, Executive Director of LSE Cities and Associate Professorial Research Fellow at LSE, and Isabel Dedring, Global Transport Leader and Group Board Member at Arup.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally challenged the nature of cities. The closure of borders and businesses and social distancing are having an impact in almost all cities worldwide and are threatening urban life as we know it. A reassessment of issues such as density, urban economy, mobility, governance and sustainability could be the result. Urban Age is taking up these issues with the "Urban Age Debates".

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Elisabeth Mansfeld.

The event is supported by SAP SE and Knowledge Partner Teralytics.