Every time that we need to find solutions for problems, we were slow and little efficient: “Two decades to ban tobacco in closed public spaces or three years to change the name of a metro station in Helsinki” exemplifies Marco Steinberg, the Finish designer and international consultant, that, first thing in the morning, put the Portugal Mobi Summit audience thinking about mobility.
But more than quick answers, what we need, during this pandemic period is a “transforming agenda” capable of “redefining our old values” without having to destroy them. Starting with the idea that we have on progress, which is no longer sustainable and can neither create social and economic opportunities for all: “We will need to step back and look to all angles” warns CEO of Snowcone & Haystack.
This is the vision through which the Finish specialist proposes to find “creative perspectives” which go beyond than just designing streets and cars circulating in them. The institution’s logic is tapered and cannot look beyond its own walls. “It’s the typical behavior of those who are working closed in a very specific context and end up by developing a biased vision”. Therefore, it’s time to open the doors and let in other specialists that will bring to the table different social, environmental and economical approaches. “We need small teams, but interdisciplinary and working in creative ways”.
Mobility – warns Steinberg – cannot be resumed to cars, squares and buildings, but it also extends itself to restoration, commerce, digital and “meeting points” that gather citizens. Now Covid-19 forced us to rethink the way we see cities and to protect communities from infection risks. “This is a good pretext to find new transportation policies and other urban dynamics to serve people”.
It’s also an opportunity to change the logic of institutions: “Before the pandemic we needed to debate the problems and convince people to change their behavior”. What changed with Covid-19 is that institutions had to create solutions to guarantee sanitary safety. Bike paths, wider sidewalks or no-parking areas entered practically from day to the other in urban dynamics. “People are trying new ways of mobility and are changing their behaviors” This is the “new approach” that is “now surging” concluded the founder of Snowcone & Haystack.