Future mobility and the new power of places

As people’s perception of space and place change, is it true that in future the spaces between buildings will be more important than the spaces within them? There is the possibility that sustainable, connected cities will make urban areas behave more like villages in future. Future, modern sustainable cities may have something attractive to all generations, such as Baby Boomers who are attracted to slow cities as well as Digital Aboriginals / Natives for whom these cities offer potential for greater enjoyment of healthy, green, safe work-life-play zones.

• Architects predict that in future, spaces between buildings will be more important that spaces within them.

• ‘Yoghurt cities’ are touted as interesting phenomena in which places within cities have ‘active cultures’: museums, shopping, theatre, etc.

• Cities are becoming more sustainable and sustainable transport modes are expected to make cities behave more like villages.

• People’s perception of space and place is changing.

“Show me how and where you live, and I show you who you are” said the German poet and philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder. 200 years later, this adagio still rings true.

People’s perceptions of space and place are changing in nature; the link between man and the environment. Work in this area has not only stressed the multi-layered nature of space perception but has also highlighted that, in the future, architects predict that the spaces between buildings (in the socially mobile environment) will be more important than the spaces within them.

Whether rented, owned or built, homes and their interiors offer a deep insight into one’s personality. Conversely, studying socio-cultural changes and trends enables us to draw conclusions on how society will live tomorrow. Social megatrends such as individualization, mobility and health have a decisive influence on architecture and home design. But also economic crises, technological advances, collective needs and changing family structures influence the way we live.

Creative professionals, young and mobile, are conquering urban areas and driving new food and lifestyle concepts.

More and more cities become sustainable places, where (environmentally friendly and noise avoiding) electric cars, connected vehicles, bike sharing (and fixing) stations, etc. are about to make the city behave more like a village. An interesting phenomenon is ‘Yoghurt cities’; these are neighbourhoods or places (within cities) like yoghurt, with ‘active cultures’; vital museums, shopping, terraces, theatre, urban sportainment, tai chi-sessions in the park, downtown neighbourhoods with throbbing street life, etc.  Retiring BabyBoomers are insisting on moving to (open, multi-generational) Yoghurt cities rather than (segregated) retirement communities.

When it comes to Digital Aboriginals, young urban children learn to re-connect with the (healthy, sustainable, safe, joyful, social and educational) outdoor. More and more cities are being re-conceived and redesigned as healthy, green and safe work-life-play zones (so-called ‘rurbanization’), where the prime digital generation can meet and understand real life.

Millennials are an outspoken high-tech-high-touch generation, happy to mix the magic efficiency (and efficient magic) of high tech with the beauty of yesteryear, ‘hipster’ design (high touch). They are the prime ‘collaborative’ generation, longing for co-creativity, not only by means of social media, but also by meeting up with peers in low tech co-creation caves (like coffee bars or co-working living rooms), where traditional craftsmanship and high tech tools go hand-in-hand.

Prime Busters look for a stimulating environment, where everything they need is – more and more – on hand (24/7 shopping, neighbourhood supermarkets, bike/car sharing …).

Both BabyBoomers and Master Boomers are rather pro. Like their Master Boomer counterparts, the BabyBoomers are attracted to the idea of a slow city, where slow and smart mobility has its place. Sharing vehicles though is a bridge too far for them as it is difficult to disconnect car usage from car ownership.

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