Future of Transportation – Futurists Twitter Chat Thursday 4:00-5:00 EST #apf #futrchat #transit

The Association of Professional Futurists (APF) is hosting its fourth twitter chat  on Thursday, January 20, 2011 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST. hashtag: #futrchat. You can find information about the first three here . (education, money, work) 

Is 21st c transportation just more of the same?


During the 20

th century, transportation innovations exploded. You might even call it the century of transportation. We not only invented new types of vehicles; we created new infrastructure and new lifestyles celebrating them. Technology transformed from walking and animals to bikes, boats, trains, cars, trucks, buses, planes, and spaceships. I even adore some oddities like dirigibles and segways.

High speed transportation is sexy, no doubt about it. We have a love affair with these coolest new gadgets. And it’s cost us immeasurably. Cars in particular caused new development to stretch further and further from city centers. And they use fossil fuels. Both are now seen as huge mistakes.

Embedded as transportation is with energy and politics, arguments in the US may wage battle well into midcentury. Meantime developing countries aim for that middle class image, wanting cars before decent housing and causing traffic jams that last for days. But that’s now.

We want to talk 2020, 2030, 2050 – what will be our needs, what constraints, and what options will we have for transportation?  What does mobility mean in twenty or thirty years?


Backlash and penalties

Slow cities, car free cities, transit oriented development, walkability, smart growth, density, and so many other urban trends tie to strategies to reduce the influence of the car on our lives.

One massive debate is: better cars or live car-free? In fact, better cars such as electric do little to reduce greenhouse gases unless we have power plants that produce renewable energy.

It’s easy to see transportation as a topic of things; vehicles are objects. However, they are deeply integral to our daily lives, affecting how we behave, our friends, where we live and work, how healthy we are, even our personal identities. Are you a walker, a rider, a driver, a co-user, or a telecommuter?


Transportation 21

st century style

How will we travel in 2030 or 2040? What is the impact of the internet, telecommuting, and social media? How will augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence change transportation options? How will transportation be different in mega-cities, smaller cities, towns, rural, across the globe, or into outerspace?

What new technologies could transform the way that we travel and commute? What is the impact of life safety, security, and crime on transportation? What new infrastructures are worth the expense and trouble to build? Will sharing bikes and cars go mainstream? Will there be a crash or a wimper after peak oil? What aboutautonomous vehicles, robotics, and road trains? And (wincing), what’s holding back flying cars and jetpacks?


Will transportation transform our lives as it did in the 20

th century? Will we become smarter about choices and their consequences?  Will we choose to ‘un-tech’ our mobility?  Will we choose to stay still?

I bookmarked almost 200 links on the future of transportationhere and 140 on transithere

Please Join Us – an open tweet chat

You are welcome to join the APF #futrchat and voice your views on the future of transportation. We’ve hosted chats on the future of education, the future of money, and the future of work. These chats are fast and intense. I always learn enormously, like scanning futurists brains.

Jennifer Jarratt and I will co-host; Jennifer with intriguing questions and I with ideas, more questions, and retweets. You can do the same, add links (if they pertain and are not promotional ads), and help us think more clearly, more vividly about the future of transportation.  

What do you think about the future of transportation?

Join us on Twitter by searching for #futrchat. Please use #futrchat in your tweets, and the Question #, as Q1, Q2, Q3 etc. 

As alternative to twitter.com, here are two sites where you join the chat.

Images:Nissan Torii,Shweeb monorail 




  1. Bernd Nurnberger says:

    Wonderful topic. Transportation, collaboration and lifestyle all benefit from renewable energy. Negawatts are cheapest, no doubt. Not strictly “renewable” energy, but clean and good for megayears, there is plenty enrergy in reach of current technology and cost: Geothermal and tidal. I take that as a given once the people shove aside the incumbent’s political posturing.

  2. Cindy Frewen Wuellner, phd, faia says:

    Bernd: so glad you are thrilled. Its a changing field b/c of the issue of energy, as you say. Shoving aside political posturing… indeed. Please find a way! see you tomorrow at the chat.

  3. Jim Mathews says:

    Hi Cindy. What a great intro to the Transportation chat topic. You and Jennifer do a great job on #futrchat. I can’t wait to express my opinions on flying cars…

  4. Cindy Frewen Wuellner, phd, faia says:

    Hello Jim – thank you so much! look forward to your ideas… even on the ever-confusing flying cars! cindy

  5. transPR says:

    Look forward to this topic, and reading some of the comments out there.

  6. Cindy Frewen Wuellner, phd, faia says:

    Thanks Darrel, glad you can make it, thanks to Laurie Meisel; welcome your perspective. Cindy

  7. Cindy Frewen Wuellner, phd, faia says:

    Here is the transcript of the lively conversation: http://bit.ly/gRvqf8Jennifer Jarratt posed these questions: Q1 If 20th century was the century of transportation, what will the 21st century be? Q2 What’s the potential impact(s) of Internet and Social Media on transportation?Q3 What are the big changes that need to occur in transportation?Q4 What would I do w/out a car (if you have one). How does it change life? Q5 What’s your takeaway? Last thoughts? 76 people participated and posted 624 tweets from Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, London, Oslo, Germany, Canada, and the US.Thanks to all who joined us, it was an intense, mind-opening conversation. The next #futrchat will be on Thursday Feb 24, 2011, the topic is: What are the Big Questions we need to ask about the future? Hope you can join us!

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