Concept of the Day: Audi Urban Future Initiative Extreme Cities Project

May 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

audi future cities projectAudi’s Urban Future Initiative, a collaboration with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, has presented its Extreme Cities Project in New York this week. There are five hypotheses for the megacities of 2050: Transgeneration Capacity, whereby generational boundaries are blurred, and better access to services and communication enables care beyond an extended family network; Asymmetric Mobility, involving multi-modal transport, digital and virtual communication instead of traditional commuting patterns; Complexity, entailing an immense (and vulnerable) concentration of knowledge in dense urban centres; Migration, whereby people move freely and frequently to live and work in other world cities; and Generosity, with lots of community projects such as collective gardens. A more positive set of outcomes than Digiland etc. (see previous post). Full lowdown here (and more to follow from the Ideas City Festival, New York, tomorrow).

In other news today:

  • “Lifecycle emissions of electric vehicles are significantly lower than those of conventional alternatives when using low-carbon power generation and could be further reduced through the recycling of batteries”: new whole-lifecycle analysis by Ricardo-AEA for the Committee on Climate Change, in an extensive report (pro-nuclear) on reducing the UK’s carbon footprint for 2050. Available for download here.
  • Are e-bike sales (up 22% 2010-2011) eating into European car sales (down 2%, and a further 8% in 2012), asks Forbes? Electrically-assisted bicycle sales are expected to reach 1-1.2million in Europe this year, says Navigant Research. Having had one zoom past me whilst I was struggling in low gear up Clyde Road last night, I can see the appeal…
  • Road traffic fell in the UK again last quarter: down 2.3% compared to January-March 2012, though we still covered a long 74.7billion vehicle miles. Car traffic down 1.9% (59.6billion vehicle miles), light goods down 1.9% (10.4billion), heavy goods down 3.8% (3.7billion). Larger decreases were seen on rural and urban roads (down 2.5 and 2.9%) than on motorways (0.7%). Full report here.
  • The Elio two-seat, three-wheeler, a 1.0-litre lightweight to be built in Shreveport, Louisiana, goes on sale next month in the US from $6,800, and 13,000 have already been ordered, reports Autoweek.

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