It's a global fact: 54 percent of the world's population lives in an urban environment
. By 2050, that number is estimated to grow to 66 percent. Urban dwellers seek a blend of key ingredients
for the perfect living environment, such unique architecture, a usable waterfront, options for recreation, and pedestrian and bicycle paths.
Detroit has all of these. But what urbanists don't love about life in the city is traffic. A close second is a lack of convenient parking. As cities compete to attract young residents with interesting career choices, unique housing, and vibrant food and nightlife options, they're also looking closely at different ways to move people, goods, and services efficiently. This is urban mobility.
The Detroit region, the epicenter of automotive development, has long recognized the vehicle as part of Detroit's creative economy. Next-generation mobility is a natural progression of this creativity.
Exactly how Detroit is addressing mobility today and in the future is the subject of the first session of DCDT Talk, a speaker series hosted by Lawrence Technological University Detroit Center for Design and Technology
LTU Detroit Center for Design Technology
"Mobility in the City
" will be held on Wednesday, April 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at DCDT, and will feature an interactive panel discussion with Michael Wayland, writer with Automotive News
; Bill Canning, vice president of Ann Arbor connected electric bicycle company GenZe
by Mahindra; Ian Thibodeau, automotive writer for The Detroit News; and Jason Hall, co-founder of Detroit Bike City
, the Slow Roll organization.
"Creativity and mobility go hand in hand," says Karen Evans, director of the design accelerator at DCDT. "Mobility and transit are integral to how we live and work and navigate our environments, and creative professionals may be attracted or deterred based on questions like how do I navigate that environment? How can I access the tools and entertainment I need? How can we, as a family, get around?"
Karen Evans, director of the design accelerator at DCDT, is an adjunct professor of business law and rhetoric at Lawrence Technological University.
When Evans meets and talks with with entrepreneurs considering a move into the Detroit startup space, mobility is a consistent thread in the discussions. This panel-based session aims to spark questions about mobilizing people around a variety of transit options.
"We'll be talking about Slow Roll as a big influencer about how bike culture works in Detroit, as well as how automotive professionals approach vehicle design as modes of transit," says Evans. "Our hope is that people will leave with a better understanding of current trends of mobility in Detroit."
The eight-session series will run from April through October, and invites diverse groups together to talk about creativity in Detroit.
"Through the series, we think there will be networking opportunities between business owners," says Evans. "We have seen connections have good outcomes with our series last year. Events like these help individuals feel more attached to the city and pleased with their decision to be here. Through the speaker series, they take away information to help them grow their businesses."
“Mobility in the City” will be held on Wednesday, April 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Detroit Center for Design and Technology, 4219 Woodward Ave., Detroit
Visit Driven and learn how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.
All photos courtesy of DCDT.