"Hands off the wheel: Is it time to re-think urban mobility?" - Next Big Thing

Past Event

14 May 2013, 7:30pm - 8:45pm

1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE

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This London-based event is a collaboration between the Oxford Martin School, Policy Exchange
and Nesta

Once considered an essential part of adulthood and societal status, the future of the car in the face of rapid urbanization, rising fuel costs and environmental concern is open for discussion. Driverless cars, significantly enhanced electric vehicles, ‘smarter’ cars the equivalent of 1/5 a standard car space – all are under development. Meanwhile, incentives for using ‘greener transportation’ are widely available, albeit with limited successes, and whilst it is widely agreed that we need to reduce our dependence on oil and decarbonise, progress has been slow.

Current policy on low carbon city transport seems embedded in the desire to replicate current models, rather than taking the opportunity to creatively rethink urban mobility and encourage different ‘travelling behaviour’. Transport can work within our rapidly urbanizing structures – but not in the traditional way. This event will look at how we need to rethink urban design and mobility in a more creative way. It will consider:

What is the future of the car, and how can the success of car-sharing initiatives can replicated more widely in our transport structures?

  • Are we likely to see an increase in car sharing in the interim or are people wedded to their vehicles?
  • How might technologies such as driverless cars alter our communities, and are such advances desirable?
  • How realistic and effective are current policy mechanisms, such as the incentives around electric vehicles, and what other techniques or mechanisms might be employed?


  • Susan Claris, Associate Director, Arup
  • Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, London
  • Nathan Koren, Associate - Transport, Technology and Planning, Capita Symonds
  • Dr Malcolm McCulloch, Co-Director, Institute for Carbon and Energy Reduction in Transport, Oxford Martin School

Chair: Natalie Day, Head of Policy, Oxford Martin School

Join in on Twitter - #nextbigthing

For more information and booking a seat, please visit www.eventbrite.com/event/5439764482