Moving cities: the future of urban travel

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

In this collection of essays the authors concentrated on the future of urban travel. RAC has asked the contributors to help understand what the prospects are for personal and public transport in an urban environment, and what challenges and opportunities are already discernible.

The scope of the essays is broad, encompassing demography; multimodal requirements; health considerations; regulation and governance; changing work behaviours; the changing economic circumstances of young adults; funding for roads; local versus national control of transport; the impact of new automotive technologies and infrastructure on emissions, congestion and vehicle ownership; and – with the availability of autonomous vehicles no longer a distant prospect – the issue of human interface with vehicle control itself.

The need for mobility of goods and people seems to be basic. It seems likely that the demand for mobility will remain despite the increasing ease of communication.

Indeed, one view is that historical improvements in communications technologies have tended to generate more travel, not less. So as urban populations grow, there will be more demand for the ability to have access to one another, and also to goods and services.