Urban Thinkers Campus: The Transition to Liveable Cities (the post-car city)

Urban Thinkers Campus: The Transition to Liveable Cities (the post-car city)

FIU (Federación de Urbanistas Iberoamericanas) is organising an Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) The Transition to Liveable Cities: the post-car city next month (25th-27th October) in Barcelona. This is the second UTC that FIU has organised (the first being Housing in the City We Need, Barcelona, 2015), and builds on the work that FIU has been developing over recent years on linking sustainable mobility and urban planning. FIU had the opportunity to present some of these ideas during the Side Event Vision Zero Plus: The City for Citizens, that they organised at the Habitat III conference in Quito last year.  In this UTC, the aim is to go further, and explore ways to achieve more LIVEABLE cities, as outlined in the New Urban Agenda and in The City We Need manifesto developed by World Urban Campaign partners, from the perspective of mobility. Our point of departure is that shifting to more sustainable models of urban mobility can produce cities with more public spaces, with cleaner air, with fewer accidents, with greater access to mobility, and with higher levels of overall wellbeing.
However, the construction of this LIVEABLE city depends on a fundamental change away from the current dominant model of urban mobility, that we call the ‘Car City’. This model, based on the dominance of private vehicles, is not a structural phenomenon that has always been in existence and that always will be; rather, the invasion of the car is relatively recent in the context of the long history of urban settlements. Cars now dominate cities and cities are organised around them, which has had disastrous consequences for cities and their inhabitants, in terms of urban sprawl, congestion, the marginalisation of the pedestrian, global warming, and millions of deaths from air noise and air pollution and accidents.
Many cities have begun to identify and implement strategies and measures that seek to promote a shift towards sustainable mobility, namely, public transport, car-sharing and active forms of mobility, such as walking and cycling. Not only are such modes of mobility more environmentally sustainable, but they are also more efficient, more democratic, safer and healthier.
In this UTC, the overall objective is to articulate a new urban paradigm based on the principles of the New Urban Agenda that produces cities that are more just, equitable, democratic, efficient, healthy and safe. We call this new paradigm The Liveable, Post-Car City.
More specifically, this UTC seeks to:
  • Raise Awareness among Planning and Mobility-Strategy Stakeholders about the need for a paradigm shift in the way we produce and move through urban space.
  • Share Experiences analyse the processes involved in designing and implementing sustainable mobility strategies.
  • Present a Road Map in which the The Liveable, Post-Car City is described, the tools for achieving it are specified, and the commitment of partner organizations to this process is detailed.
Programme of the Campus
  • The Campus will take place over two and a half days. The first two days will be given over to discussions and debates about the eight core themes of the Campus, while the final morning will be used to bring together the conclusions and to present them to the media and the public in general.
  • We will deal with the following core themes:
  1. Current Strategies to Promote Sustainable Urban Mobility.
  2. Reclaiming Public Spaces for the Community
  3. Contesting the Cultural Hegemony of the Car
  4. Integrating New Technologies and Ownership Models into the Sustainable Urban Mobility Models.
  5. Paradigm Shift: new mobility scenarios
  6. New Urban Forms: overcoming the compact-sprawling city dichotomy
  7. The Governance of the Paradigm Shift
  8. Is the Post-Car City Desirable? Is it Achievable?
  • Each core theme will be the subject of discussion in three Urban Thinkers Sessions: the first will be a brainstorming session to examine the ‘state of the art’ of the theme under discussion; the second will be in format of an Urban Lab, based on innovative experiences and actions related to the theme; the third session will be given over to proposing solutions, action plans etc.
  • Each afternoon, the rapporteurs from the Urban Thinkers Sessions will meet with representatives of partner groups in the Partner Group Sessions to identify the relevant priorities, commitments, action plans, roles and roadmap for each core theme.
  • At the end of each day, a Roundtable Session will agree on and write up the main conclusions of the day, that will then be presented to participants for approval.
  • On the third day, a final plenary session will be held in order to ratify the overall conclusions (priorities, commitments, action plans, roles and roadmap), that will subsequently be presented publicly.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS UTC PLEASE CLICK HERE


Author by: John Etherington.
Photo Credits:Federación Iberoamericana de Urbanistas (CC).