Mobility 2050 is a vision of everyday personal mobility as it can and should be in 2050. It is written by uniquely qualified authors: engineering students who have the technical education they need to conceive of, review, and evaluate sociotechnical alternatives in mobility, but who – unlike many people of comparable qualifications – are also young enough to expect to be working citizens in the future they write about, perhaps with decades still ahead of them. These qualifications give these authors a direct, personal stake in the success of mobility visions they propose.
Especially in the US, mobility policies and practices in the 2020s remain much as they were 25 or 50 years ago. Passenger transport, land use policies and practices, and transportation engineering standards have changed little since the 1990s and even the 1970s. At 29 percent, the share of total greenhouse gas emissions attributable to transportation in the US is higher than the share of any other major sector of the national economy, and higher than in other high-income nations. The endurance of such policies and practices may be due in part to a paucity of visionary, long-term planning.
If the mobility of 2050 in the United States is to be more affordable, inclusive and sustainable than the mobility of the 2020s, the planning must begin now. The authors themselves determine the ideas and values that the mobility of 2050 will serve. They will also consider how the technology of the mid-21st century may permit new mobility possibilities.
Mobility 2050 is divided into three parts: 1. Normalizing Walking and Micromobility 2. Making Transit Practical 3. Land Use Planning and Urban Design for Inclusive Sustainability
Within each section, chapters will consider more specific subsets of these subjects. Authors are invented to consider each of them broadly, without regard in inherited assumptions.