Movement analytics for sustainable mobility

New paper: Miller, H.J. (2020) “Movement analytics for sustainable mobility.Journal of Spatial Information Science, 20, 115-123.

Invited essay for 10th anniversary issue

Abstract: Mobility is central to urbanity, and urbanity is central to our common future as the world’s population crowds into urban areas. This is creating a global urban mobility crisis due to the unsustainability of our 20th century transportation systems for an urban world. Fortunately, the science and planning of urban mobility is transforming away from infrastructure as the solution towards a sustainable mobility paradigm that manages rather than encourages travel, diminishes mobility and accessibility inequities, and reduces the harms of mobility to people and environments. In this essay, I discuss the contributions over the past decade of movement analytics to sustainable mobility science and planning. I also highlight two major challenges to sustainable mobility that should be addressed over the next decade.

Keywords: movement analytics, mobility science, animal movement ecology, sustainable mobility, urbanity

No one rides public transit

…except those that do.  The New York Times reports that public transit ridership in the USA is at its highest level since 1956: [Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Report].   Todd Litman (Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria, British Columbia) says that increasing public transit usage is the result of changing consumer preferences due to increasing urbanization, an aging population, and environmental and health concerns.

So why do our urban transportation policies still favor driving over public transit?

The developing world’s urban population could triple by 2210

Richard Florida discusses new research by Brandon Fuller and Paul Romer of NYU’s Marron Institute that projects the world’s urban population one century from now.  [The Developing World’s Urban Population Could Triple by 2210]

By 2210, nearly 87 percent of the 11.3 billion people on Earth living in cities.  The urban population will be split unevenly, with just 1.2 billion people living in the cities in developed world and 8.6 billion living in the cities of the developing world.  As Fuller and Romer note – ‘Urbanization is peaking in places where “the capacity to govern is still in short supply.”’

Fuller and Romer recommend essentially starting from scratch, setting aside public spaces and creating  functional and equitable governance in contrast with the ineffective and at times corrupt systems that currently govern many rapidly urbanizing parts of the world.  They point to two examples where this has worked well –  China’s Shenzhen city, which has grown into a metropolis of ten million in just the last three decades, and the expansion of the Manhattan street grid during the 19th century