Collaboration and changed attitudes crucial for solving mobility issues

June 7, 2018

Hi Carl, what was your role at the Summit?

I was invited to participate in a panel debate titled “Complementary challenges facing the mobility ecosystem” which dealt with the need for a transition to a new kind of mobility. I presented my take on future mobility in cities to an audience of head designers and CTOs from car manufacturing companies.  These businesses are looking for solutions for self-driving cars, I shifted focus from self-driving vehicles to solutions that make us less dependent on cars. So I was most certainly not preaching to the converted!

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I want to shift the focus from self-driving vehicles to solutions that make us less dependent on cars. In the future, driving a car will be considered just as bad as smoking.
Carl Bäcstrand, deputy CEO, White Arkitekter

So what is your take on future mobility? 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for future mobility. My strong belief is that we will see both new technologies and new attitudes. I believe that in 10 years, cars – in their current state and configuration – will be looked upon in the same way as we see cigarettes today. Driving around in your car will be considered just as bad as smoking.

How do we reduce dependency on cars?

By making walkability possible. Megacities with mega traffic are not the answer, they create segregation and congestion. We should promote local functional diversified communities with public spaces. Walkability creates a shared closeness with others, as well as a shared economy.

How did the panel react to your views?

It sparked good conversations! Not surprisingly, my co-panelist J May, a former chief designer of Ford and Audi and currently professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, argued that cars would always represent freedom. In the end, I think we both agreed that it’s better cycling to work than putting your bike in the car boot to drive to a cycling area. J May invited me to lecture to his students in London, so it appears my statement have opened doors for continued conversation.

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Collaboration is essential! No industry or individual can come up with solutions to the challenges around mobility.
Carl Bäckstrand, deputy CEO, White Arkitekter

What else did you learn at the summit?

That collaboration is essential! No industry or individual can come up with solutions to the challenges around mobility. Ambitious and exciting ideas on car sharing were presented and I would like to see them implemented in the near future.  It’s very much about changing attitudes if we are to meet the challenges we are facing regarding climate change, social equity and health.

Contact

  • Carl Bäckstrand

    Carl Bäckstrand

    Deputy CEO

    Architect

    Stockholm

    carl.backstrand@white.se

    +46 8 518 365 52

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