With a limited edition cover by Matthew Barney
Students at Strate Collège in Paris divided themselves up into three groups. Arthur Coudert, Shamini Thanapalasingam and Axel Egolf's suggested a new form of personal mobility to be installed in the districts on the city's south bank. Designed to be slotted in amongst the city's rich architectural heritage, their proposed urban tramway is elevated on an organic neo-Guimard style support framework that also incorporates elevated gardens. The second group, Delphine Mace, Antoine Pelleau and Camille Chouard, suggest a network of 'retractable' tram lines that works in conjunction with a modular train system. The system proposed folding tracks that only appear as the train runs along above them, leaving the streets free for other traffic at other times. Finally, the last group (Céline Julien-Binard, Victor Braun, Cyril Verbrugge and Kévin Bouvier) envisaged the city's 'perfect' transportation system, a perpetually moving system of autonomous modules designed to flood Paris with a new form of highly mobile street furniture, offering residents and visitors permanent access to instant transport.
Paris's Strate Collège kick-started their contribution to Sustainable Neighbourhoods with a week-long workshop, involving Cedissia de Chastenet, one of the City of Paris's official architects, as well as Philip Nemeth from the school's transportation department and David L'Hôte, who oversee's Strate's sustainable development projects. BMW's Katharina Schraidt and Markus Speck came on board with Wallpaper* to shape the results, which distilled a very intense period of research into a commitment to shape schemes that would determine a 'global public mobility' for the city of 2050.
Berlin’s character and dynamism are derived from its fractured past. The post-reunification city is architecturally rich and its infrastructure complex, with a burgeoning cycling culture co-existing with public and private transport. Low car ownership and a walkable centre make it receptive to new ideas.
This 500 square mile city has become globally synonymous with endless sprawl and quasi-religious automotive culture. Known for its infamous smogs, which kick-started California’s draconian and innovative pollution legislation, LA remains utterly reliant on the car – yet its citizens are willing to seek out new ideas.
A city of parks, pagodas and bus routes, Hangzhou is typical of China's second tier urban centres, with modern life threaded through an often beautiful existing fabric. Still fast expanding, with a metro line in the works and a burgeoning tech centre, the city is home to thousands of students and a growing private transportation sector.
London presents an enormous challenge to future mobility. Due to the intense pressure on its public transport infrastructure, London was a pioneer of congestion charging. But the capital’s historic core ensures that change has to be pragmatic, innovative and realised to an exceptional standard.
Tokyo’s massive rail-based infrastructure serves its commuting-dependent but crush-weary population efficiently but uncomfortably. With a hi-tech-friendly, rapidly regenerated urban landscape, Tokyo’s relationship to personal mobility is open to change and innovation.
The Parisian mobility experience is one of dense layers and much-needed local knowledge. One of the most walkable capitals, Paris rewards the urban explorer, whether on foot or on bike. France has led with city bike schemes, and its Vélib’ is one of the world’s largest. A free-spirited metropolis with headspace for change.