Cities of tomorrow
Visions of what our cities will look like in the future crowd our lives. They feature in everything from sci-fi futuristic film narratives to everyday conversations between everyday people. And they play an important part in debates about climate change, and how we can sustain our planet in the face of urban migration, overall population growth, and worrying global warming.
Mobility obviously forms a huge part of these future visions. Cities used to be built the way humans move, and then they became about cars.
As legendary architect and urbanism expert Jan Gehl puts it, city planners and architects “got completely lost and confused, and lost the ability to build on a human scale, as if dinosaurs, not people, were to live in these places”.
Thankfully this knowledge is rapidly being re-found, and around the world people are thinking about how to keep our cities moving, but our environment intact and carbon emissions drastically reduced.
Cities is among the topics we care deeply about at Tea & Water, so it’s fascinating to hear of all the conversations happening globally on future mobility in urban environments.
Motor manufacturers clearly have to work out a way to keep pace with the future, making their business models fit for the present and not the past. Many are promising an emissions-free future for cars.
General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, has just pledged to sell 20 all-electric models by 2023. Ford is also moving away from traditional cars and trying to position itself as a thought-leader in future mobility, reinventing itself as a mobility firm at the forefront of automotive technology.
Ford recently hosted a high level symposium, ‘city of tomorrow’, on this topic, debating questions such as: How do we prepare for a world of self-driving cars? What would cities look like if we completely reimagined our streets? Most importantly, it highlighted that working together globally is necessary if we are to realise the potential of the city of tomorrow.
Our Tea & Water Pictures photographer, Noah Sheldon, photographed hundreds of people on the streets of Chicago, New York and San Francisco to show the human side of cities for the symposium, which reminds us of the most important factor in future mobility and urban environments: the people.
Below are some highlights from Noah’s photo series.
For more from this series head to Tea & Water Pictures