Category Archives: Mental maps

The xCar Landscape: New Ways of Owning and Using Cars in the 21st Century

This is a collaborative thinking exercise addressing essentially a single question. But one of many parts. What is the “modern motor car” going to look like in the decade immediately ahead?  Will it be  more of the same?  Or will it mutate into a very different form of mobility?  Who is going to own it?  And how is it going to be used? Where will it be driven (and eventually parked)?  Will it be piloted by a warm sapient human being, or will it be driverless? Will it still have wheels, doors and tires? What will be its impact on the environment?  And what will be the impact of the “environment” on it? On public safety? On quality of life for all.  Will it be efficient, economic and equitable? Who will make them and where?  Is it going to create or destroy jobs? And how fast is all of this going to occur?  . . . Continue reading

Thinking about Equity-Based Transport Systems: Get Ready to Embrace Complexity (or Get Off the Bridge)

As is or at least should by now be well known, a transportation “system” is well more than a collection of largely free-standing bits of infrastructure, modes, links, agencies, institutions, operators and more, concerning which decision scan be taken on a piecemeal basis. .  It is in fact a textbook example of a disorganized complex system, or more specifically a vast, chaotic but ultimately manageable ecosystem.  And if it is our ambition — which it should be — to construct, or rather reconstruct, our city transport systems into functional high-performing sustainable ecosystems. it can help to build up our understanding of the process in steps. Continue reading

III. The Female Quotient. Women shaping the future of transport in cities: Who, how, where?

29 July interim progress report:
This off-the-cuff collaborative brainstorm is proving a pure learning experience. We started out with a single long-held idea: i.e., the importance of getting all aspects of the sustainable transport planning and policy establishment on to a gender-level footing. And against that understanding we set out on Tuesday  to see if we could, with a little help from our friends, come up with a convincing list identifying a certain number of outstanding women leaders working in our field who, though their excellent preparation, their strong convictions and their courageous pioneering actions, are literally redrawing the new mobility map (and the mental maps) of our cities. And all that at a level of excellence that captures the attention of others in other places, and inspires them to study, emulate and perhaps even to surpass the original project, approach and policies. Continue reading

Doodling with Frank

A recent edition of the Atlantic Monthly carried a series of short articles on creativity, and one of their short profiles was an interview with Frank Gehry which I reproduce below. (Click here for the original article). And here is why I am sharing this with you this morning, namely my attempt to understand the early minutes of his (and yours and my) creative process. I am uber-struck by the relations between his initial pen sketches as his mind wanders about his problem, and the building that he finally makes happen a couple of years later. What is going on in his head? For that matter what is going on in MY (or your) head when an idea germinates, which in time and with luck and hard work just may turn into something that does an interesting job. Anyway I am fascinated, and if you have not seen the excellent documentary that Sydney Pollack made on this a few years back, you can catch a trailer at In the meantime excuse me, I have some important doodling to do. Continue reading