Nature has figure it out: Birds never collide when quickly changing directions in huge swarms. Ants always find the most efficient path to a food source. And even single-celled organisms like slime molds build transport networks that outcompete our subway systems.
At the same time, we are facing complex mobility challenges in a world where urban populations grow and planetary boundaries have been exceeded. Systemic approaches are needed to identify solutions that tackle the limitations of today’s challenges in urban mobility, user needs, and city development. Learning from sectors that successfully operate complex mobility systems is essential to cope with the tasks to be managed in urban settings. Mobility is no invention of mankind but a prerequisite for any form of life. Nature during 3.8 billion years of evolution has developed remarkable strategies for efficient transport logistics. Biomimicry, a design approach that takes inspiration from natural systems, reveals how living organisms and cells organize and realize transport and opens up new ways of thinking. Creating a human-centered systems innovation will transform the hermetic urban morphology into a permeable landscape and free valuable urban space.
The concept leads to a radical improvement of urban life. It not only reduces car traffic on the surface and increases the transport efficiency but importantly also lifts the quality of the mobility experience for a seamless individual journey and creates novel urban morphologies. Former streetscapes can be transformed into shared spaces of private and public use enabling new qualities of urban life including housing, recreation, and leisure. The biomimetic system fosters social encounters and constitutes an open platform, allowing for the emergence of novel transport technologies, typologies, business models, and importantly social synergies. Creating a sustainable world that works!