The BMW Group seeks out dialogue with key stakeholders on urban mobility
More sustainable, highly mobile, yet still personal: today’s cities need a reboot to satisfy the needs of tomorrow’s inhabitants. The challenges are real, and no single actor holds all of the answers. The BMW Group launched their 2018 Group Dialogues in Los Angeles to listen, learn and strategize solutions today for building “Cities of Progress” for tomorrow.
Cities are growing at a rate of 200,000 people – a day
Society is rapidly urbanizing. Over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the United Nations predicts this will increase to nearly 70 percent in the next decade. Statistics reflect the urgency of the situation: globally there are over 4,000 large cities and 300 metropolitan areas that each host over a million inhabitants, and these cities are growing at a rapid pace of 200,000 new inhabitants daily. Within a generation, there will be more than 40 mega-cities serving as home to 10 million inhabitants or more.
In response to this burgeoning crisis, the UN cites successful management of sustainable urban growth as one of the most significant development challenges of the 21 century. Learn more in the United Nations “World Urbanization Prospects” report.
The BMW Group recognizes cities of tomorrow face significant challenges. It strives to better understand the complexity of these challenges and seeks input from a wide variety of stakeholders committed to innovating sustainable solutions today.
One such platform for inspiration is the global BMW Group Dialogues, which brings a wide array of experts and stakeholders to the table. The goal of these dialogues is for stakeholders to generate relevant feedback to inform the BMW Group’s sustainability strategy and to develop solutions that address the challenges cities are facing.
Vice President Government and External Affairs Americas, BMW of NA, LLC. Lisa Errion-Saums shared, “BMW is a car maker. That’s what we know. But the future for mobility we know also is that it will involve more than just people buying cars and driving them. It will also involve ride sharing, car sharing, services, apps, electric cars, highly automated cars and more. We already provide some of these services to the customer today, but we need to understand even better what communities need when it comes to mobility. For us Los Angeles is a hugely important place. …We are not coming to half listen. We are genuinely listening; we are genuinely open.”
“Cities in Progress” – the BMW Group seeks answers to questions of urban mobility
The theme of this year’s dialogue series is “Cities in Progress,” a nod to rapid societal urbanization and the challenge this poses for sustainable urban development.
Step 1: Los Angeles – What students and stakeholders had to say
The BMW Group hosted a round of conversations with students and then later with additional stakeholders comprised of locals, thought leaders and innovators to discuss major challenges and opportunities for urban mobility in the city of Los Angeles from their perspective.
When prompted to share about the biggest challenges for urban mobility in their city, each group cited the following factors:
Students: (1) Congestion, (2) Air pollution, (3) Poor public transport scheduling
Stakeholders: (1) Congestion (2) Air pollution (3) CO2 emissions.
With regard to urban mobility by 2030, student predictions show a strong correlation to the items on their wish list for the BMW Group portfolio. This is what they think we need to have in our portfolio:
Similar to the students, the stakeholders desire more emission-free vehicles and alternative mobility services and encouraged the BMW Group to do it.
New partnership with Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
New partnerships are key to gaining fresh insights to old problems. Along with the launch of the 2018 Stakeholder Dialogue Series, the BMW Group announced their new partnership with the nonprofit organization Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), which actively promotes a green economy and seeks to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies. It collaborates with startups to unlock innovation, transform markets and enhance community in Los Angeles. Simon Euringer, head of the BMW Group Technology Office USA, praised the new partnership saying, “LACI has developed a unique strategy. Various stakeholders working on different projects exploit synergies to develop and implement a sustainable mobility concept for the urban space.”
One common goal
The challenges to building sustainable cities in the future that are both efficient yet personal are significant, but not insurmountable. At the end of the day, it’s about the people living in the cities, their daily lives, and listening to their experiences. LA Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation Miguel Sangalang says it best, “The end goal is a better life and for mobility for play a part of that.” In the end, improved mobility will allow us to “draw larger radiuses for people to meet, to fall in love, to shop, to really get to that thing that builds up that larger future for themselves.”
BMW Group Dialogues 2018 Next Stop: Melbourne, Australia
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More photos of the BMW Group Dialogue and the BMW Group Student Forim in Los Angeles can be found here: