Future Streets

NLA Autumn research and exhibition

Streets are the foundation of our urban life, they make up more than 80 percent of all public space in London, used every day by millions of Londoners and tourists to move around, whether on foot, bicycle, car or bus.

They are the lifeblood for goods to be transported and moved around the city to keep it alive, alongside providing vital and regular places for green infrastructure, local markets and other social space for the city’s social life to occur.

The way we move in cities is changing, and the streets that support our movements must evolve. Advances in automated vehicle technologies have developed quickly over the past few years, with predictions to have autonomous vehicles (AV) running in London as early as 2021, and trials already underway in some UK cities. E-mobility and innovation in smart-technologies, such as smart sensors, provide huge opportunities to revolutionise the transport system, promising a more flexible, easier, enjoyable service. Yet, there are currently no certainties that the arrival of new technologies will actually decrease the level of traffic, or make our streets better and healthier. How will the current physical infrastructure of streets adapt? How will the arrival of autonomous vehicles interact with cyclists and pedestrians? Will AV be privately owned, or provided as a shared service? Will we need new lanes for pick-up and drop off for deliveries by automated vehicles and drones? Where will electric charging points be placed and how will they be maintained? Will current parking facilities be redundant and require reuse and repurposing? What will life in London look like in the age of autonomous technology?

This research seeks to investigate the impact and opportunity of technology and new mobility in London, looking at how multiple technological developments and new strategies help to promote new street-based mobility solutions, that are also multi-modal, socially inclusive, accessible and environmentally sustainable. London is at a critical juncture in its policy and design to reimagine how we use the street which may require us to understand how we want to use the limited space to communicate and prioritise the city’s true values.

The research will be carried out over a period of six months, with a formal launch taking place in Autumn 2019 including a Private View, publication, exhibition and series of focused events. 

• To investigates how London might adapt streets to newly emerging shared, electric, and autonomous transportation technology in ways that maximize multi-modal, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable outcomes. 
• To consider the existing policy framework on how the city will accommodate and design for new mobility that is accessible for all.
• To reflect on the impact of new mobility on the social, economic and cultural life of the city.

The Research Paper will be launched in November 2019 through:

Research Paper – the outcomes of the research will be documented in a high-quality publication to be produced in both digital and print form. 2,000 copies of the report will be widely distributed to professionals and policy-makers. It will also be on sale in the NLA galleries and downloadable for free to reach a wider public audience.

Exhibition – a major public exhibition in the NLA galleries at The Building Centre, WC1 will explore elements of the research and key case studies. The free exhibition will be open for three months, and be accessible to a public and professional audience. It will also provide a backdrop to the events programme.

Project Showcase – a collection of case studies, projects, strategies and international examples showcasing innovation in mobility and technology and the impact on streets design.

Private View – the exhibition, Research Paper, and events programme will launch at a Private View to be hosted in the NLA galleries. Previous events have attracted a high-level delegation of over 500 people.

Events – a two/three-month events programme will include a half-day conference and free talks, bringing together speakers from across development, planning, architecture, delivery, policy sectors and local groups.


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There are opportunities to become either a Champion or Supporter of the Transport & Infrastructure programme.

To find out more about how you could get involved in the events and output across our platforms please get in touch with the Membership Team via Aurelia Amanitis

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