The concept of Vertical Urban Mobility is being discussed as a potential solution to address overpopulated areas.
1. Vertical Urban Mobility
Future cities could look far different from the urban landscapes we are used to seeing. Talks about redesigning urban areas to shorten the distances for residents are steering among government officials, public policy wonks, architects and city developers. Such plans take into account the growing global population, with recent reports estimating that in November 2022, the world population will reach 8 billion. With Vertical Urban Mobility, experts argue that the number of urban dwellers could be reduced.
We, popularly speaking, need to build the same urban capacity in the next 40 years as we’ve done in the previous 4000. We also need to build in an eco-friendly way, given the reality and imminence of climate catastrophes. A path to such a greener future is also upwards.Jens Martin Skibsted for the World Economic Forum
While high-rises and skyscrapers alone can’t put back our planet in good stead, Skibsted notes that it’s important to crack the code on how people can move around efficiently between high-rises — from the workplace to the gym, from a meeting in a client’s office to a friend’s birthday at a restaurant — using innovative, time-saving vertical mobility solutions.
2. Possible solutions
It’s still hard to fully picture what these vertical mobility solutions would look like, even having in mind various scenarios from science fiction movies. Still, some existing types of mobility can perhaps give a glimpse of how vertical mobility — paired with horizontal mobility — could evolve in no distant time: cable cars like Bogota’s Téleferico, escalators like Hong Kong’s Central–Mid–Level, the Chinese ‘Straddle Busses’, Wuppertal’s suspension trains, Dissing+Weitling’s bicycle bridges and the elevated streets of Copenhagen’s 8HOUSE.
“The architecture of urban buildings is just one part. How our transportation systems integrate the vertical movement of people is another. Right now, the best answers we have are questions,” stated Skibsted.