'Subtle and distributed infrastructures, with the element of chance experience that is fundamentally urban'
When Henry Ford transformed the automobile from a novelty for the privileged few to an affordable tool for the masses it initiated a new pattern and pace for American modern life. By the 1930’s, over 23 million cars were in circulation on America’s roads, creating a demand for both movement and storage. The adoption of the automobile continues to disburse American cities by virtue of parking lots, car parks, and widening freeways that link sameness to sameness.
Currently, a number of American cities continue to regard parking, vehicle access, and speed as facilitative agents for growth and revenue. Is there a new model for American cities, in which mobility can reverse the effect of city centers consumed by the private motor car and its needs?
How could the city operate if we made the same demands on mobility as we do for personal technology and software? When it comes to personal technology we are critical of resilience, compatibility, energy consumption, and adaptability. In similar manner, can we consider mobility as a productive interface?
Shuffle City prototypes an alternative future for Houston, a city renowned for an abundance of freeways, 15 story car parks and ubiquitous parking lots. Yet, it persists as the fourth largest city in America. If these horizontal cities continue to outpace mass transit, then our orientation towards mobility should be as dynamic as the city’s pattern of growth.
Within the proposed 'shared network', autonomous light vehicles create a platform for more distributed networks. Together, they accumulate diverse experiences within close proximity, in which education, markets, and multi generational housing can thrive. Movement data and travel mode incentives stimulate land use, redefining city functions and practice through shared modes of mobility.
Shuffle City is an alternative framework for future growing cities in America, a tactic for spatial and program diversity, to support the very principles that exchange limited patterns of ownership, land use, and transit space for a fluid coupling of mobility, urbanism and ecology.