Designing Cars for Future Megacities

With the global urban population on the rise and cities expected to become densely populated mega-cities, automakers are trying to design cars for future cities.

The New York Times reviews some of the concept cars under development that would mobilize the dense cities of the future.

"Automakers are looking at ways to reduce the automotive footprint. General Motors has shown its EN-V, for Electric Networked-Vehicle, a podlike two-seater for the megacities of 2030. It is currently being demonstrated at the Expo 2010 world's fair in Shanghai.

Ford showed its Start concept car at the Beijing auto show this year. The Start is built of composite panels on a metal frame, with a shape that recalls the New Beetle and Mini Cooper."

Full Story: Envisioning a Small Electric BMW for the World’s Very Big Cities



Why not design cities to support car-free living?

Rather than building expensive vehicles to clog the streets still more, why not use proven techniques to build cities so that the majority of people can live car-free in them?

Support pedestrians, bicycles, pedicabs, trolleys, buses, light rail, and heavy rail. There might be some car-sharing in there, but reduce the reliance on individual vehicles.

The NY Times article does not allow comments, but my comment would be: why are you publishing marketing materials of a car company as if it were news? Car companies of course want to sell cars--they have no interest in cities except for expanding and prolonging the car-dependence of the city-dwellers. They are the wrong people to ask about future transportation planning.

City Design.

I think designing car-free cities in the year 2010 is not reality. Human nature does not work this way. Perhaps in 25 years or so we will begin this Transition, but not any time in the near future for projects that need funding, loans, approvals.

This is not to say I think our society needs to exercise any less, but merely an observation on our species.



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