One thing is certain, the future is not going to be like the past. Last century cities had to manage continuous growth in population, building of infrastructure, pressures for sprawl and demand for mobility.
100 years ago, only a few people had personal vehicles, and they had to carefully navigate the street where people were travelling, socializing, and doing business. The trams were removed in the 1950’s, and the streets were cleared of human activity to make room for unlimited mobility. The current urban travel behaviour is unsustainable not just because the 1.72 cars per household run on fossil fuel, but because we have far overshot the benefit of accommodating personal vehicle mode for 90%+ of trips.
Over the next decade, the steep downward trend of fossil fuel emissions will create pressures for transition of the existing urban form into the accessible urban form. The shift projects for the city will generate economic growth and wellbeing while reducing the need for personal vehicle mode.
Engineering that transition will require a new partnership between researchers, council, community and consultants.
Professor Susan Krumdieck is a pioneering leader in the field of Transition Engineering, receiving an MNZM for services to sustainability research and engineering in this year’s New Year’s Honours. Professor Krumdieck is cofounder, leader and trustee of the Global Association for Transition Engineering. She holds a prestigious position as Professor of Energy Transition Engineering at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland – where she will work with the people of Orkney to achieve a transition to zero carbon within five years – as well as holding an adjunct professorship with the University of Canterbury.
This free event will be hosted by Catalyst Trust and the Rees Hotel at 6pm, on Monday, May 17th. Koha welcome at the door.