Reclaiming scarce public space

Developing a framework for the bottom-up integration of micro mobility hubs in dense urban neighbourhoods with limited free space

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Ever since the reconstruction after World War II, it has become impossible to imagine our streets without the automobile. A car-centred public space has become the status quo, while this appears to have far-reaching consequences for both climate and society. Herefore, the transition toward more people-centric cities is brought into full swing. Stimulating and aggregating the use of shared mobility with mobility hubs is one of the multiple strategic interventions for this purpose. Regarding the latter, significant knowledge has yet been produced and applied, however, little is known about inclusive design in existing neighbourhoods with limited free space. Moreover, existing approaches generally fail to integrate the end-user's needs from the starting phase of the designing process. This thesis develops an approach for this context by putting through a bottom-up design process for a specific testbed in Amsterdam. This case study consists of a literature review bundling existing guidelines for mobilty hubs, the integration of co-creation to tailor the design principles, a subsequent designing phase, and finally testing the designs among a sample from the population. The results showed that there were either additional conditions (e.g. vandalism prevention and late adopter guidance) or that conditions deviated from what was suggested beforehand (e.g. location choice and network density). The subsequent designs generated wide public acceptance, thus proving the method to be successful for this particular case, also emphasising the added value of such a bottom-up approach. Thus, this thesis recommends a similar tailor-made approach in future situations with a more critical note against suggested assumptions from theory. When put in broader context, having executed the process even exposed a possible flaw in the still ubiquitous approach of urban planning in existing neighbourhoods, often struggling to generate sufficient support from society. Hence, this thesis insists that a tailor-made planning approach could be applied more broadly, even for stimulating the wider sustainability transition.