Audi Urban Future Award

Data collectors developed by a team headed by the architect and city planner Jose Castillo, from Mexico City, win Audi Urban Future Award 2014.

Audi Urban Future Award
The Audi Urban Future Award, at 100,000 euros the world’s highest-value prize for innovative mobility solutions, goes to Mexico City.
The competition team headed by the architect and city planner Jose Castillo impressed the international jury with its “operating system for urban mobility.”

Its heart is a data platform with which cities can design their transportation planning according to needs and drivers can flexibly adapt their behavior to the latest situation.

Under the motto “the next leap in mobility,” four interdisciplinary teams from Berlin, Boston, Mexico City and Seoul competed for the Audi Urban Future Award with their innovative ideas on tomorrow’s mobility.

The winning team in the Audi Urban Future Award 2014 puts its faith in encouraging self-help by making commuters into data donors. At the same time it tests new forms of cooperation between companies, mobility providers and municipal institutions: in addition to Audi, many companies and organizations have cooperated.

An initial version of the new data platform has been online since September. Commuters can share data on their own movements with other users through a website and an app. In this way a valid database for sustainable urban and transportation planning is gradually created. As soon as enough real-time data for precise forecasts are available, people can adapt their behavior to the forecasts and thus influence the traffic themselves – by departing later or by choosing the mode of transportation that gets them to their destination quickest.

“Our vision is to transform urban mobility into a flexible system guided by goals, by making all modes of transport interlink seamlessly. In this way the residents always get the service that is best for them individually,” explains architect and team head Max Schwitalla, who aims to implement his ideas by connecting the Urban Tech Republic on the site of Tegel Airport to the mobility network in Berlin.

The Boston team that competed for the Award, headed by Philip Parsons, formerly dean of Planning at Harvard University, has conceived a “multimodal marketplace for mobility.” It is founded on highly complex simulation software that makes it possible to calculate the opportunities for new technologies and provides a transparent basis for investment decisions. When the developer building a parking garage realizes how much smaller his real estate can be planned, thanks to self-parking cars, the foundation for new business relationships is laid.
The range of opportunities offered by autonomously driving cars inspired the designer Sung Gul Hwang and his team from Seoul. Their proposals are based on ethnographic studies in the trendy Gangnam district. The car can be transformed as desired into a traveling interface to the city, a virtual space for experiences or a social urban device that rewards the driver for environmentally aware or socially responsible behavior.

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