Mobility Futures: A Showcase
Carlos Lopez-Galviz is one of the associate members of the Centre for Mobilities Research and Associate Director for the Institute for Social Futures, both based at Lancaster University. Carlos’ take on mobilities is concerned with history and the relationship between cities and infrastructure.
Carlos considers the extent to which history can allow us to think about the future differently and how this is important in at least three different ways:
1. Lessons from the past
Through learning from examples or illustrations of best practise and experiences that cities went through in the past, we are better placed to imagine the future today.
For some cases we think about transformations of mobilities systems as a quantitative increase, the fact that more people travel more frequently for longer distances. However, if we put that in a historical perspective and we look at the patterns of one hundred, two hundred years ago, we realise that conditions change and also that those trends do have a context. What is essential to consider is that although the trends do exist, there is an element of context that is important not to ignore.
3. The routes not taken
The possibility that through studying wonderful ideas which imagine the futures of cities, often through the vents of transport, infrastructure or mobilities systems, we can endeavour to solve problems such as sustainable and affordable housing and mobility today. What happens with ideas in the past that weren’t quite realised is that they remind us that there is nothing natural or inevitable about the situations that we find ourselves in today.
By combining those elements of the routes not taken, providing a context to trends that exist in the present and also realising some of the lessons that we are yet to learn, Carlos believes that we are better placed to imagine the future of mobilities systems today.