Audi Canada

Keynote during a display of a Extreme Cities Project (in team-work with Columbia University) Audi Urban Future Initiative, New York

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s my good pleasure to acquire we here to this illusory plcae in this extraordinary city! More than 8 million people are vital in New York City. So when we pronounce about a issues and hurdles presented by civic life, New Yorkers are a experts.

As we competence know, a idea of a Audi Urban Future Initiative, is to try a attribute between mobility and a city to prognosticate civic life in a future. We’re in an glorious place to do this. Let’s usually demeanour during a building that’s hosting this event!

There was a opposite building in this place before, we know. And it had to be transposed during a finish of a final millennium. Why? Was it damaged down? Damaged over repair?


From what we understand, a University built this new place to make certain that people can accommodate some-more frequently, sell information faster, and make connectors some-more easily.  What has happened to a infrastructure of this plcae and this building, is now also function to a mobile infrastructure of a cities. It needs to be rethought.

Our economies flower since cities conduct to pierce together people with opposite believe and perspectives. But a multiple of civic infrastructure and particular mobility has been so successful, that it is formulating a predicament for a destiny of mobility. Whether we demeanour during New York, or New Delhi: In many civil areas, a normal automobile speed during rush hour is a tiny eleven miles per hour. That’s about a same as horse-drawn carriages – 200 years ago. In Shanghai, people spend an normal of 90 mins in trade jams each day.

What does this mean? We have combined an implausible formidable and unenlightened form of mobility that hurdles a unequivocally things we do. Audi will play an active purpose in anticipating solutions. We’re a code that believes in “Vorsprung” – a German word that means being ahead, being progressive.  And that “Vorsprung” can’t usually be in a materials we use, or a engines we build. It has to embody new solutions for a needs of a people and a needs of a cities they live in. That’s because we started a Audi Urban Future Initiative in 2009. To explore, understand, and urge a attribute between cars and cities. Much like a radar system, a commencement enables us to detect and expect changes, filter and investigate them, and afterwards implement what we have schooled to emanate tolerable mobility solutions.

So far, we have focused generally on a time setting fluctuating to 2030, formulating visions for a nearby future. We are gratified to have a winners of final year’s endowment with us today: The U.S.-based Höweler + Yoon Architecture. They tender a general jury with their “Shareway” proposal. A multi-modal mobility complement designed for that vast civic area that stretches from Boston to Washington. It’s a fascinating devise to renovate a mobility infrastructure that connects and shapes this Megalopolis.

Concepts like “Shareway” are courageous, they are necessary, and sometimes, for us as a automobile manufacturer, also a tiny bit scary. Because a solutions envisioned there occur on a turn that’s not in a strech of a normal approach in that we build cars.

Which brings us here: To a partnership with Columbia University, and to a “Extreme Cities” research.

I am generally anxious that we have been means to get Professor Mark Wigley and his singular group from Columbia University on house to commence this tour with us.

We could not have hoped to combine with a some-more eminent and cutting-edge investigate institution. we met Mark in Istanbul final year – and we common a lot of ideas there. We also concluded that we should demeanour even serve ahead. If a Audi Urban Future Initiative so apart is examining a subsequent 10-20 years, a Extreme Cities Project is building scenarios for a subsequent 50. 50 years!

Some competence contend that’s too apart out. But when we pronounce about urbanity or trade infrastructure, 50 years is unequivocally not that apart divided during all. Take New York’s famous travel grid. Invented in 1811. And it is still defining trade in this city. Eisenhower’s highway act usually incited 50 a integrate of years ago. But it is obliged for a fortitude of Americas infrastructure that we use each day.

What Prof. Wigley and his group are doing, is defining a intensity civic future.

Because, we during Audi we wish to know a issues and opportunities that a cities of a destiny competence create. Before they turn a reality. For a past hundred years, a automotive attention has been building a products some-more or reduction eccentric of their surroundings. This is no longer a tolerable strategy.

As a automobile maker, we face a lot of new hurdles – all due to a poignant changes in quick expanding civic areas. We know a universe will supplement about 1 billion people until 2025 and another billion until 2050. Most of them will find opportunities and complacency in cities – unequivocally vast cities. And palm in palm with this densification, complexity also increases.

Think about it like this. The civic capacities that we built over a final 4000 years, will have to double in usually a subsequent 40 years.

None of us: Neither city planners, nor architects, nor automobile manufacturers, will be means to do this alone. To figure destiny mobility, we need to welcome this complexity and make certain it can progress. Many people are doubtful about this density, though we consider amiability has proven over and over again, that it shines when people come together and share spaces and information.

Let me give we an instance of a city from my home country. At a commencement of a 15th century, a city of Florence grew unequivocally rapidly. Streets were changed. Houses were ripped down. If we would review letters from that time, you’d see that a people of Florence were unapproachable of their city. But they also complained about a traffic, a noise, and a chaos. However, out of a new firmness combined by all these new urbanites; out of this complexity sprang a miraculous renaissance.

This is not distinct a story and presentation of New York. And it is also what is transforming cities opposite a globe, as we speak. More and some-more people wish their possess satisfactory share of a advantages of unenlightened civic space. The usually approach this is probable lies in transforming a cities and a travel means: To conduct this new firmness though simply pier on tip of what we already have.

For Audi, it is critical to prognosticate a products as solutions. The plea is to pattern a forms of a truly mobile future. And for this to succeed, a concentration needs to be on people. We asked Mark Wigley to code a set of hypotheses defining factors that would turn a pushing force behind life in a cities of tomorrow. Over a march of dual semesters, Mark and his group have conducted investigate and brainstorming sessions and experiments. Here’s how they report it – we quote – “to expect a cities of half a century from now and beyond”. Unquote.

Looking during life in a year 2050, a “Extreme Cities Project” argues that it is in cities where people find a biggest potential. We should therefore flip a notice and see a city of a destiny not usually with a problems, though with a assets. On interest of Columbia University and Audi, we would like to entice we to join us on a tour into a universe of a grandchildren, and share a team’s 5 hypotheses with you.

The city of a destiny will be tangible by:

  • Transgenerational Capacity
  • Asymmetry
  • Complexity
  • Migration
  • Generosity

Let me start with a initial hypothesis: Transgenerational Capacity. Especially when a chairman is young, it can be formidable to suppose ever removing aged – many reduction what life will be like when we strech aged age. Where will we live? Who will live with us? Will we still be mobile? None of these are easy questions to answer.

But we can see that a answers are better, when people both aged and immature are embedded in common networks, common spaces. A unenlightened civic sourroundings creates many things easier: removing around, carrying entrance to health care, participating in unchanging amicable communication and so on. While a final 100 years have mostly seen a subdivision of generations a city of a destiny will be successful if it delivers “Transgenerational Capacity”.

Let’s pierce to a second hypothesis: Asymmetric Mobility. In a destiny city we will always have a crowd of mobility options. You can use a subway, a taxi, your car, a common automobile or we competence travel or bike to a place we wish to go to. And where we wish to go competence change from day to day. You competence not go to a bureau each day. Or we competence change a hours of your invert formed on trade situations.

This Asymmetry describes a unequivocally opposite picture of a city than a indication used by travel engineers behind in a 1960s, who modeled a transformation in city formed on exquisite travelling routes. 9 to 5. To work and back.

Which leads me to a third hypothesis: Complexity. If we demeanour out of these windows, we can see all these implausible buildings surrounding us, a hum of a streets below, and a quick and continual transformation of people… it isn’t formidable to suppose that a city is a many formidable entity humans have ever created.

This complexity final vast amounts of resources and egghead commitment. When civilizations destroy to accommodate these demands, they get weaker. But when they do accommodate a demands, cities turn hubs of good vitality. They concede and emanate a mind-boggling volume of exchanges – a sell of goods, a sell of ideas, etc.

This supposition binds that destiny cities will be many some-more formidable than a ones we live in today. We will need to find ways to conduct this productively.

Hypothesis array 4 is about Migration. When meditative about migration, a Big Apple is a ideal example: Just consider of a vast immigrants who arrived here by boat in a past century or so. All of them were welcomed by a Statue of Liberty and afterwards altered on to where ever it was they wanted to go. But emigration is not simply a one-way redistribution of people from farming to civic areas. In a impassioned city of a future, it is a consistent condition.

Take me, for example: I’m an Italian who has, so far, lived and worked in 10 opposite countries – including Germany. You could contend we am a migrant worker, too. This consistent suit of people creates mobility final that can't be answered by highways from downtown to suburbia. It asks how cities are connected to a tellurian tide of people who are on a move. The cities of a destiny will yield options and answers for all kinds of migrants.

The final supposition for a city of a destiny competence be a startling one: Generosity.

I consider it is unequivocally important. We mostly pronounce about cities usually in terms of numbers.

People, traffic, business, even crime. But a elementary gesticulate of munificence can set into suit a array of actions that are unpredictable.

You competence remember a film “Pay it Forward”, where a judgment of creation a tiny gesticulate out of affability has a outrageous certain impact in a end. The fifth supposition says that even 50 years from now, cities will have to be some-more than usually fit vital machines. Instead, even a megacities of tomorrow need to offer opportunities for inexhaustible surprises like: village gardens, that offer a collect to people in need, or proffer formed civic networks, that broach services to a aging, or persons with singular mobility.

As we can see a Extreme City hypotheses outline hurdles we competence be confronting a few decades down a road. They also concede us to start meditative about answers today.

The simple mandate for us to constraint these opportunities are simple:

  • We have to be open-minded;
  • We have to listen to other people;
  • And: We need to learn what a destiny expects from us.

This is because we are so vehement about what a group here during Columbia University has designed for a entrance year. They will continue exploring a core topics and issues associated to a “Extreme Cities Project”. And they will emanate abounding ominous scenarios for new ways of vital in an civic environment.

Just demeanour during what a common work in a “Experiments in Motion” has brought adult so far. In “Beyond a Street” students have envisioned an particular mobility that uses new materials and technologies to leave a street-level and conquer a third dimension of a city. The same approach New York’s buildings cowed a third dimension with a appearance of steel beams and elevators.

In one plan “Condensation City”, firmness is so complex, that a eminence between travel and building is disappearing. The “Eco-Drones” plan shows us that some mobility solutions competence leave pushing behind, and also a need for a driver. Instead drones will solve tasks drifting autonomously. What plan like these learn us is that we have a energy to reinterpret civic space.

For us during Audi this kind of training is not singular to a apart future. We comprehend that many of these changes, many of a answers to a 5 hypotheses count on Audi cars and other solutions apropos many some-more connected, and many smarter.

Interacting with a information that a cities’ design will furnish is going to be crucial.

From what planners tell me, in a subsequent 10 years cities competence not change all that many to a eyes. But to a cars, they will turn a unequivocally stretchable environment, dynamic some-more by information than by concrete. Our cars will have to be means to attend in that information environment, and to supplement profitable information to it. They will turn adults in this infrastructure. And usually like people, they should supplement something that creates a city better.

That’s because Audi has been heading in introducing a full internet tie to a cars – with Audi connect. It’s a good knowledge for a people who expostulate a cars.

But it’s even some-more critical for a cities. We’re also training a cars to drive.

Audi is a initial automobile manufacturer with a pilotless pushing permit in Nevada. It’s a initial step, though it will concede us to emanate a new pushing knowledge in an ever-denser grid.

Finally, we’re operative tough on formulating some-more space in a city, by pity a existent space improved than before. we can’t tell we some-more now. But we can tell you, a destiny will be bright.

Parallel to these activities, we will be operative closely with a winners of a second Audi Urban Future Award, on a city dossier for Boston-Washington. By a finish of this year we will be presenting a formula to a public.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to appreciate everybody who has challenged us, encouraged us, and assimilated us to consider about a altered kind of mobility. We will continue to combine to actively figure a dialog with vast civil areas all over a world. And we will essay to motivate architects and city planners to serve rise particular blueprints for destiny mobility.

Innovative ideas will be a drivers behind a new kind of “Vorsprung”– a new kind of enrichment – that a code has always cared about unequivocally deeply.

Thank we unequivocally much.