Four visions for the future of public transport
The way people get around is starting to change, and as a professor of transport strategy I do rather wonder if the modes of transport we use today will still be around by the turn of the next century.
Growing up, my favourite book was a children’s encyclopaedia first published in 1953. One double-page spread featured an annotated cityscape, showing all aspects of the built environment – most of which we would still be familiar with now.
The various modes of transport illustrated – trains, buses, lorries, taxis, motorcycles, bikes, pedestrians and private cars – still work together as a system in fundamentally the same ways.
But a whole range of possible (though not inevitable) societal and technological changes could revolutionise how we travel in the coming decades.
These include large-scale responses to the climate change agenda and energy sourcing and security; shifting demographic trends (such as growing numbers of elderly people); the development of the collaborative economy; the growing use of big data; and the apparent inevitability of driverless cars
To examine what future urban transport systems might look like, I recently directed a future-gazing project for New Zealand’s Ministry of Transport exploring how people might be travelling in the year 2045.
I helped develop four scenarios, along two axes of change.
The first axis considered automation – at one end, vehicles are still be driven much like today (partial automation).
At the other, they’re driverless (full automation).
The second axis related to how dense cities could become – one future where the population is more dispersed (like Los Angeles) and another where it is concentrated at a higher density (more like Hong Kong).
With these axes in mind, I generated four possible futures for public transport, which could play out in cities across the world.
Read the full piece by Professor Marcus Enoch, of the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, in the Conversation, here.
Notes for editors
Press release reference number: 19/183
Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.
It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.
Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.
Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.
The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.
Loughborough staff, students and alumni make a real difference. They challenge convention, think creatively and find solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society today and in the future.
Meet the #LboroGameChangers at lboro.ac.uk/lborogamechangers