The mobility revolution does not only affect how we travel but also our need for housing. When cities are extending their efforts on decreasing car trips in the city center, housing with appropriate biking facilities and with good connections to bike lanes becomes attractive. The appearance of micromobility redefines how we perceive distances between different destinations. Besides, the micromobility solutions do not only affect mobility in the city centers but also in the peripheral areas, reshaping the idea of cars being the dominant mode of transport. E-scooters allow better access to public transport for real estate that is situated within one or two kilometers of public transit stations. How real estate developers prepare to welcome autonomous vehicles will also be important for the future value of their buildings. The vision to create buildings where “autonomous vehicles can seamlessly enter a building to drop off their passengers” is now trendy.
Sooner or later, city dwellers will become less reliant on private cars and the real estate owners will have to deal with the overabundance of parking lots that they once built. Some ideas for utilizing these areas already popped out on the market: Deliveroo has converted parking spaces to facilities for preparing food to fulfill online orders, and another developer is trying to use parking spaces to facilitate a last-mile delivery hub in its building.
The logistic sectors might be the pioneers to adopt self-driving technology because it is “easier to predict the changes in business-to-business sectors”. Besides, logistics will play a main role in reducing congestion and pollution. A Swedish business park has been controlling all logistic vehicles, which resulted in an 80 percent decrease in traffic in the area.
There are other technologies in the pipeline that are even more radical, for instance, Uber’s aerial ridesharing. “If your building is one of the first that is accessible by air taxi, that could be a huge draw for occupiers”, said one investor.
The explosion of mobility innovation has driven the real estate developers, which are commonly perceived as being “traditional”, into change. In Sweden, several real estate communities are now aware of the issue and have started working on preparing their buildings for the transition to new mobility solutions by, for example, offering charging possibilities for electric vehicles or even redesigning the architecture to facilitate mobility as a service. Together with the city of Gothenburg and other partners, the public housing company in Gothenburg is also trying out different solutions to compensate the need for private parking and to put their parking spaces to better use. I see the awakening of real estate developers as a milestone for smart mobility. It means long-term investment has started to come in to support the development of smart mobility. The city’s transformation to embrace a new way of transport is on-going.
Written by Anne Faxér, RISE Viktoria.