On the lip of Thanksgiving 2010 my thoughts not unnaturally turn to my native America. And since our view here is from the street I have to think a bit unhappily about why is it that we in the States do not seem to be able to let go of "old mobility" – i.e., whenever you spot a problem you build something to solve it (also known as the Edifice Complex) – as the highest-possible cost, least civil, one size fits all solution to our problems of efficient transport and fair access in and around cities. Of course we invented old mobility a long time ago -- and at the time it seemed like such a logical and dynamic solution to the connection challenges of a vast growing nation. And indeed it was. But suddenly it's 2010, the twentieth century is long behind us, and if we look carefully at the low quality of what we are seeing on our city streets across the nation it would strike one that perhaps it is time to rethink OM from bottom to top and come up with something a lot better. For example New Mobility, which without our having to define it here is the basic strategy and value set that is behind the far more successful city transport arrangements we can see in hundreds of leading cities around the world – and none of them sadly are American.
Why and how have we arrived at this sad state? Well, let me ask a foreigner working in this field who has long lived in and long admired America about what he thinks is going on. Sometimes when you are lost it helps to stop, find someone and ask for some directions. So let's ask Hartmut Gerdes.