Last week I attended the Smarter Mobility Africa conference in Pretoria where I formed part of a panel discussing how new technology and smarter mobility can help create more liveable cities.

The conference was a wonderful chance to meet and interact with the leading voices in the mobility environment in South Africa. tI was also an opportunity to hear about the latest developments in electronic vehicle technology, and developments affecting the mobility environment across South Africa.

Most of the speakers and panel discussions revolved around new technology and discussing the introduction and adoption of electronic vehicles in South Africa. Electric vehicles are definitely an improvement on internal-combustion engine using vehicles, and stand to make a massive contribution to cleaning up the air in our cities. Electric vehicles will not, however, solve any of our other mobility problems including congestion, spatial planning, pedestrian and cyclist safety, or improve the efficiency of urban transport systems.

Our panel discussion was over all too quickly and we could only briefly touch on the core topics relating to mobility and its impact on the quality of life in our cities. Hopefully future events will allow more time for the discussion of urban design, public transportation, urban cycling, and  other key issues.

I’m happy to report that Liveable City was received amazingly well. Over the two day conference, I met with a great many passionate and influential people who are eager to collaborate with Liveable City to share knowledge and experience, and partner to achieve our goal of changing the way we design our cities.

Now more than ever, I’m filled with passion and a true sense that Liveable City can and will make a major contribution to improving South African cities.