How can we design a zero-commuting city? What are the important attributes of a walkable community? How can we invent the future of mobility so that it is human-centric and sustainable? These questions were all discussed at ReImagining Mobility, an event hosted at the Kursaal in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain on April 5th, 2022. The event was led by MUBIL, a Foundation that collaborates with both non-profits and industry professionals with the aim to turn Spain’s Basque Country into a global reference point for new and innovative mobility modes. The MUBIL team was joined by MIT City Science, a team of urban researchers who were invited to add insight and inspiration at the public talks and to serve as catalysts for a workshop on the topic.
New models and opportunities
Ane Insausti of Mubil opened the event stressing the importance of collaboration to enable more accessible and sustainable mobility options for citizens. Furthermore, she stressed the importance of creating collaborations between industry, academia, and government in the Basque country to work together to develop new technologies for environmentally-friendly mobility. Ane then welcomed Kent Larson to the stage to give an overview of research from the City Science group which included data-enabled decision making, transformable spaces and new sensors to better understand human behavior.
Kent began his talk with a call to action: ‘We are experiencing a moment of intense innovation.’ He then focused on the urgency to create a new model to better understand current cities and to offer solutions for more sustainable communities in the future. Kent showed a model outlining several ways that we can reduce carbon emissions from allowing for live-work symmetry by providing new affordable housing options, to introducing new lightweight mobility, to offering all amenities needed within a walkable distance.