Urban Transportation since its early conception in the beginning of the 19th century has been the unique player that has shaped modern current city design , from the first urban transport vehicle that was the horse-drawn omnibus to modern electric cars and electric buses . Global cities sizes have increased during the peak of automobile industry from the 50 till the beginning of the 21 century . During the peak of automobile production output , urban sprawl has seen a sizeable number of urban inhabitants prefer to live in what we call suburbs where housing and personal cars were affordable to the majority .The car during these decades from the fifties till the beginning of the 21 century was the unique undisputed personal transport Vehicle by choice for driving to work or work commutes , recreational activities in the week end or random transport activities . This global widespread car use and its current modern city design have made urban planners and car manufacturing companies totally blind about the fact that car use a unique personal transport vehicle would be unsustainable both economically and environmentally . The early signs of this unsustainable urban growth began to appear in the late nineties when urban traffic congestion began to be seen as familiar driving experience during the driving journey ,until work commutes durations began to cross two hours in some cities like new york , sao paulo ,and los angelos …From the beginning of this century , many influential personalities in academia and technology have realized that an alternative should be developed and car as undisputed personal transport vehicle is not the future . In this article , you’re gonna explore
1 Evolution of personal urban transportation since the early modern urban age in 19th century
Omnibuses , as the first public urban transportation , have shaped the current modern city design
The omnibuses continue to be used as public urban transport vehicles until 1913 , when they were replaced with motor driven buses . During this period , this type of horsecars was not affordable to the public for personal use , as many of you who have seen it in movies portraying this period of history , you have certainly seen that only the aristocratic class , industrialists and bankers were the only social class that could afford using personal horse cars as personal urban transport vehicle . The introduction of Ford model T has made , for the fist time , motor cars affordable to a large middle class consumer base that continued to grow until the 50s when personal car became a ubiquitous product .
Ford model T
2 How the automobile industry has played an important role in shaping urban modern city designs
If horse drawn cars have been the first urban transport vehicle to shape the modern city we know , motorised cars have pushed cities sizes to exceed the limits when personal cars have become affordable to a large consumer base below the middle class in the early 50s in the USA . We can say that during these decades , the modern 4 seats motor car was the first personal vehicle in history and was looked at as a daily necessity . No one was able to predict that modern urban design shaped by motor cars will not be sustainable to support a large increasing number of personal cars both environmentally and physically , until early signs have appeared in the early nineties when traffic congestion used to be a daily habit , but when work commutes began to exceed 2 hours in some global cities and air pollution rendered life unhealthy in some cities , these two factors made some well known personalities in technology and academia sensibilize the public opinion about the urgent importance of developing an alternative urban transport system .
A notable example among these personalities was the British inventor sir Clive Sinclair who was among the early people to predict in the 80s that modern 4 seats car is not the perfect and ideal urban personal transport vehicle and that the best solutions to traffic congestion and urban air pollution would be designing the most compact car that would be electrically powered and pedal assisted car . His design solution for an urban personal transport vehicle was the Snclair C5 .
3 the limitation of modern urban city designs have pushed for the development of innovative sustainable urban transport solutions .
It was until early years of the 21st century that scientific and technological efforts as well as urban regulation laws have been put to tackle the unsustainable urban transportation system dependent on personal car use .Among the best earliest examples was the successful Lyon bike sharing program launched on 21/06/2005 . This program , launched by the maire of Lion city, aimed at reducing car use in the city and improve air quality and social life by using more city areas for public gatherings and not for car driving .
Velo’v bike ride sharing program
2008 was the year of the first produced Tesla roadster as well as the launch of the first car ride sharing program , in fact they were two launches of both Uber and Lyft . The Uber car ride sharing program was launched like the Tesla roadster for just executives and not for mainstream users . It was until 2012 that this car ride sharing program was available to the mainstream users . This car ride sharing program saw massive user adoption not only in the US but also in many large urban cities around the world , this success was also met with taxi driver’s riots .Personally , i have seen millionaires who have gave up on the idea of owning a personal car thanks to to the cheap and efficient car ride sharing program like Uber . The year of 2012 was pivoting event in the history of crowdfunding , with the firs campaignd raising more than 1 million $ , this year was also the beginning of several proposed technological design solutions for the future personal portable electric scooters .
Without the technological and design evolution of transport vehicles , cities could not evolve and take its current modern design , which has enabled big number of people , ranging from hundreds of thousands of people to tens of millions to settle in an urban area and enjoy living lives profiting from all modern technological advancements modern society has achieve like affordable high quality housing , schooling , healthcare …etc . This modern city design has not come without serious limitation caused by its whole dependence on car use when global cities outgrow cars and rendered them almost obsolete in front of traffic congestion created in several global cities around the world .In front of this blocked road , society in tis quest to achieve the most affordable well being state , is now seriously forced to build a future urban transportation system less dependent on personal car use but on personal portable battery powered transport equipment and ,this future urban transportation system will have to integrate the new revolutionary component of urban air transport vehicles that will fill all the gaps of technical limitations of modern city designs .