Taking The Transportation Conversation Public
June is bike month at Evergreen’s Brick Works site in Toronto. The former brownfield and current environmental centre is working hard to show people it is accessible by bike (and transit). When the project got rolling there was some uncertainty around how exactly people would get to the relatively remote location if not by car.
Evergreen is advocating sustainable transportation as more than just a way to drive visitors to its Saturday farmer’s market. The national charity is getting involved in the conversation about sustainable cities of the future. With urban populations growing larger every day, immeasurable money will be spent in cities in the coming decades on building and replacing aging infrastructure to support this boom in urbanization. Evergreen has started hosting and organizing panels and sessions all asking the basic question: what do we want our future cities to be like? How do we want to move people through them? What services will be most important to us?
Leading up to a transportation expo that will run from July to October, Evergreen is promoting “human-powered transportation” by holding bike events, offering bicycle safety and bike-repair workshops. But it’s also asking industry partners like Cisco and Bombardier (and ReNew Canada!) to weigh in on what makes a smart city.
They’re not the only ones. The question of how we will move an increasing number of people through increasingly dense urban centres is at the base of several upcoming series, panels, and competitions.
Bombardier’s YouCity Innovation Contest, which asks people to submit their vision for the future of urban mobility, will end with a trip to Berlin to participate in a collaborative Innovation Workcamp.
Ideas already submitted range from the HookHook (basically, it’s a hook) to a polyvalent hybrid system for intermodal transportation (a reengineered electric vehicle). The site already has 700 registered members–proof that this is a conversation people are interested in having. Not only that, but it’s a problem people are keen to help solve.