Future Urban Mobilities: A Human Approach

Urban workshop

The cities of Gothenburg and Helsingborg were responsible for two urban workshops where experiences and insights from ”Understanding the Intelligent City” were brought together with city visions and challenges for urban planning and policy making. The aim of the two workshops was to

  • Share knowledge between involved stakeholders
  • Identify common interests and drivers and align these by working with principles to guide strategic urban planning
  • Create input for creating a set of principles and recommendations to guide strategic urban planning


The selection of workshop participants was based on the intentions of the project application. Cities, academia and industry were all represented. From the city perspective we wanted to achieve the most relevant participation possible, hence we invited people representing the following roles:

  • Strategic infrastructure planning
  • Innovation development
  • Comprehensive city planning (traffic)
  • Mobility management
  • Detailed planning
  • Parking management
  • Business development
  • Urban design/landscape architecture
  • IT and digitization
  • Maintenance

At an early stage in the project we identified public transportation authorities as key players, so they were also invited and represented at the city workshops.


The first workshop was carried out in Helsingborg, the second one a week later in Gothenburg. Prior to the workshop, the city participants were asked to prepare themselves by reading the UITP Policy Brief – Autonomous Vehicles: A Potential Game Changes for Urban Mobility, and reflect on how autonomous vehicles will influence future mobility. Furthermore, the participants were asked to prepare answers for the following questions:

  • What are the biggest challenges in your daily work in relation to passenger transport mobility needs as well as the city’s ambitions regarding traffic?
  • What are the biggest challenges in your daily work in relation to innovation / technology development?

The workshops started out with the following presentations:

  • A short introduction to the project and it’s ethnographic input
  • Scenarios for automated vehicles (based on the UITP policy breif on autonomous vehicles)
  • Information on combined mobility/Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
  • A view of the city perspective and input from city participants regarding challenges

The presentations were followed by group discussions on the AV scenarios and MaaS. The discussions were held in groups of 4-5 persons, with participants representing the different stakeholders (city, academia and industry).

The following three themes were primarily discussed:

  1. What opportunities do you see with the AV scenarios and MaaS visions?

How could these be leveraged in a future transport system?

  1. What are the primary challenges from your different perspectives?

How can these be addressed in future transport systems?

  1. What actors do we need to involve in the work of developing sustainable future transport systems?

After all the groups presented the main outcomes from the discussions, they were asked to start working with developing principles for strategic city planning. This task was carried out in the same groups as where the discussions were held. The aim of the principles is to guide design and development of future mobility services as well as strategic urban planning. The principles are also meant to be used as tools for evaluating existing as well as future solutions. To guide the work the following instructions were given to the participants:

  • A principle articulates the parameters and potential of a specific challenge that drive a series of solutions or result
    • Parameters (Group of people, actors, stakeholders, technology, geographical area, time, etc.)
    • Potential (what would we like to achieve, e.g. sustainability, equality, better air, lesser traffic, safe environments, certain experiences, etc.)
    • The principles need to be actionable – able to drive a series of solutions or result

The groups started their work by first individually selecting 10-15 building blocks from the earlier discussions (opportunities, challenges, actors). These were then discussed and used to create principles. Every group created 4-5 principles each which were then presented for the whole group.


In total 36 principles were created from the two workshops. After the workshops the principles were analyzed, developed and condensed into the following 7 principles and recommendations for urban city planning:

Planning for social values

Everyone who lives in the city should be able to feel that they are part of it, that they can influence and be involved in the planning and development of the city.

  • New shared mobility solutions should contribute to increased equality and accessibility, they should be possible to use independently of the socio-economic situation.

Planning for simpler everyday life

We plan for good quality of life at all levels; individual, family, community, neighborhood, the whole city, with mobility solutions and services that contribute to making everyday life easier for more people and leaving a sustainable footprint.

  • Mobility solutions should contribute to flexibility and freedom in daily mobility.
  • The services should be individualized and contribute to increased health with active mobility.

Planning for shared and combined mobility

The transport system must be robust and work for both people and goods.

  • To obtain sustainable mobility city planning need to support combined mobility: shared, connected and automated.
  • It must offer different services and vehicles in a shared economy, with the possibility to adopt for different needs.
  • Physical locations, for example mobility hubs and train stations, need to be attractive places to spend time at while changing from one means of transportation to another.

Planning for accessibility and flexibility

Accessibility and flexibility are central to achieving attractive and effective mobility and a sense of freedom for the individual.

  • The physical infrastructure for transport needs to provide access to various functions and services in the city.
  • How we use surfaces to stay, travel and transport need to be flexible so that we can change the distribution in the street space when new mobility solutions are developed.
  • Flexibility means that the city needs to support changing transport habits, new technological solutions and welcome development and innovation.

Planning for transparency

Attractive mobility requires coordination of different modes of transportation in an efficient way.

  • Mobility solutions need to be presented and made available to a wide audience.
  • The city must support systems for open, shared data, new digital platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) for development and adaptation of mobility services.

Planning for collaboration and a holistic approach

Future mobility is based on cooperation of several actors and that a holistic approach can be applied.

  • Cities needs to seek and support new types of collaborations and have an organization that can handle and prioritize the holistic approach

Planning for integrated city use

In the city, existing constantly meet new. To some extent, the existing sets the framework and / or conditions for the new. Future access to land, electricity and fossil-free fuels also provides prerequisites for future mobility.

  • Future mobility needs to be able to co-exist with parts of today’s transportation systems, both geographically and functionally.
  • Today’s public spaces must be rearranged in a way that considers future mobility needs and solutions.