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From Zeppelin to Jet Pack
Future of mobility: a city without cars and racing through the air 🌬️
What does the future of mobility look like? Are we going to travel underground with hyperloops? Or do you immediately think of flying cars?
Every month I write a future scenario to amaze, inspire, frighten and above all make you think about the ever-increasing role of technology in our lives.
In this month's scenario, I explore the future of mobility.
Scenario: From Zeppelin to Jet Pack
Foop. "It sounds like the pneumatic tube of the past for delivering mail." Esmee laughs. She and Marcel have just boarded the hyperloop from Delft to Eindhoven. The tube pulls into a vacuum. “Here we give it a push and then it flies on to Eindhoven. Next stop: Cologne.”
In Eindhoven, the hoverboards flash between the scooters, ebikes, regular bicycles, skaters and runners. At night, the stores are supplied with autonomous trucks and drones. Between 07:00 and 23:00 there are hardly any cars to be seen. Where there were once motorways and parking spaces, there is now a beautiful park with lush trees and cozy lawns.
A few taxis fly high in the air, on their way to Brussels. Further on, above the Eindhoven University of Technology campus, a jet pack route has been set out towards the ASML factories in Veldhoven. Jet pack racing is the most popular sport among students today.
The contrast between the buzzing jet packs and the colossus hovering over St. Catharina's Church is immense. A zeppelin departs on its low-emission journey to London. Ten hours of sailing, but the journey is popular. "Slow travel" says Esmee. “That’s totally the thing right now. Although I prefer the foop!”
Background of the scenario
The theme of the scenario is the future of mobility. I got the inspiration for this at an event where I spoke two weeks ago. The municipality of Eindhoven is working on a new Master Plan for mobility.
After an opening by alderman Monique Esselbrugge, Kris Peeters (PXL Hogeschool), Maria Salomons (TU Delft), Iris Ruysch (The Future Mobility Network) and I gave a short pitch about the future of mobility.
The aim of my contribution was to take the audience along with future scenarios. That means: trying to break free from the here and now. Not (only) based on data, but on stories, imagination and surprises.
Moderator Jan Bart Wiltschut then led a round table discussion with the audience.
A few things I've learned:
Mobility as a means. How can mobility become a pleasure instead of a burden? What if you could catch up with someone with a walk in the park? Or that you already have your first meeting on your bike to work with a colleague?
How do you involve young people? In Frankfurt (GER), the city was recreated in Roblox. Young people were then allowed to change it: what should Frankfurt look like according to them?
Dare to experiment. In Rotterdam (NL), residents could participate in their project to park their car further away. Green grass mats were rolled out on the empty parking spaces to make it clear what a car-free neighborhood looks like.
PS. If you understand Dutch, here is my video about the future of mobility!
Articles, books, podcasts, videos, documentaries and more about this topic.
1. DESIGN / Cycling is something I have been doing all my life as a Dutchman. But what does the future of this means of transport look like? Is it (even more) electric? On The Coolist I found this overview with 10 cool (speculative) future bikes.
I like the Intelligent Bike Concept by former professional cyclist Chris Boardman the most.
2. BOOK / I read the book Imaginable by Jane McGonigal. She is a game designer and researcher at the Institute for the Future in California. For my work in explorations of the future, such as the one on mobility in Eindhoven, the book offered me new insights and ideas.
Take collective imagination: by doing futures research with others and including as many different perspectives as possible, you often arrive at very different (and often better) ideas.
3. WATCH / The movie Bullet Train (7.3 on IMDb) is largely set on the high-speed Shinkanzen train from the Japanese city of Tokyo to Kyoto. A celebration of recognition for me. During my 2018 trip in Japan, I also took this train.
The film reminded me of Guy Ritchie films, such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, because of the exaggerated action scenes, imaginative dialogue and (sometimes) bland humor. One of the main roles is for Brad Pitt. Completely in his element as a headstrong assassin.
🙏 Thank you for reading
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