Last year interdisciplinary architecture firm Höweler + Yoon Architecture were announced the winners of the Audi Urban Future Award for the project Boswash:Shareway 2030. The City Dossier in Boston, held this May, was organized as a series of workshops between Höweler + Yoon Architecture and Audi experts in developing steps to realize aspects of the Boswash: Shareway vision. Part research project, part feasibility study, part road map to the future of mobility - the focus of the workshops is to propose a pilot project that can be tested in the proposed region of Boston - Washington.
We featured the project last year as it highlights how the landscape of urban development has changed. The focus of "Shareway" is the string of high-density metropolitan areas, their suburbs and ex-urbs along I-95 between Boston, MA and Washington, DC. The I-95 corridor caters to some fifty million inhabitants, many of whom commute into metropolitan areas for work. Mobility and transportation are critical to the economic vitality of these urban areas; "Shareway" proposes an intentionally re-engineered "highly orchestrated and deliberately produced platform from which we might imagine alternate paths, different trajectories, or new cultural dreams" whereby imagining an "alternate life for the road" is imagining a new American Dream.
Read on for more on the progress of this project after the break.
"Shareway" inherently criticizes the outdated infrastructural systems, encouraged by the boom of the postwar development of suburbs, supported by the automobile industry, and the resulting array of big box stores, drive-thru's, and fast food. This "outdated" landscape is becoming less and less sustainable as the financial, environmental and social realities of this postwar experiment set in.
The Boswash: Shareway vision is imagined as a mobility platform without ownership through time-sharing and resource responsiveness, essentially a "network of bundled mobility ecologies". The value of the automobile have defined America's identity. It emphasizes the values of freedom and independence. Yet its development also includes the negative impacts of social isolation. America's urban landscape has developed to accommodate private automotive transport. It has encouraged sprawl and communities to develope in isolation where the automobile is the only choice for mobility.
In Höweler + Yoon's vision for "Shareway", mobility in 2050 is defined by choice where a range of options are available at every person's disposal. This requires utilizing and developing available technologies of mobility. By extension, the vision of the 2050 model of mobility has the power to change the urban landscape, redeveloping priorities and boundaries between roadways and public spaces or blending them.