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Shaping Cities: The Future of Mobility

Posted on 17 July 2019

Mishcon de Reya hosted a panel discussion on the future of mobility on Wednesday 26 June, as part of the firm's technology-focused Shaping Cities series.  

The event kicked off with a keynote address from Heidi Alexander, Deputy London Mayor for Transport, on London's future transport landscape, followed by two high-level panel discussions focussing on transport and logistics innovation. The panellists discussed how technology is rapidly changing the way we move both people and goods – from driverless cars and on-demand public transport to drone deliveries and magnetic motors – and the huge impact this is having on London's infrastructure and our built environment.

The transport panel, chaired by Mishcon partner Adam Rose, included: Heidi Alexander; Lucy Yu, Director of Public Policy at FiveAl; Matteo de Renzi, CEO of Western Europe at Gett; and Neil Fulton, Chief Operating Officer at Connected Places Catapult. The subsequent logistics panel, chaired by Mishcon partner Anju Suneja, comprised: Duncan Walker, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Skysports; Phill Davies, Co-Founder and Commercial Director at Magway; and Andrew Blogg, Co-Founder and Director of Future Aerial Innovations.

Previous Shaping Cities events have looked at the impact of technology on the built environment and the retail sector.

Shaping Cities: The Future of Mobility
Mishcon de Reya


Adam Kennedy
Head of Business Development, Dispute Resolution 
Mishcon de Reya

We have a third in our sequence of shaping cities events, this one is focused on mobility; moving stuff, moving people and how that’s going to change as the built environment develops over the next 5 to 10 years.


Heidi Alexander
London Deputy Mayor of Transport

I think in a city the size and density of London the mass transit system must sit at the heart of how people get around. It’s right for our environment, it’s right for equality of opportunity and it’s right for our health. There are undoubtedly new and exciting ways in which we could do the last leg of our journey differently working with the private sector on what is best done by them and what is best done by a public authority.


Lucy Yu
Director of Public Policy, FiveAl

I think we are probably a goof few decades away from automated vehicles being very widespread globally. Ultimately our kind of vision of the future is that automated vehicles will be far safer on average than the average human driver.


Matteo de Renzi
CEO of Western Europe, Gett

We do have to change our level of trust that we have, sharing the same car with someone else that we don’t know or even more being, you know, in a car that has no driver or even more, being in a flying taxi with no driver either.


Neil Fulton
CEO, Connected Places Catapult

I think an area that is probably under researched is public perception so the opportunity for change is great but not if people aren’t prepared to accept that in the first place.


Anju Suneja
Partner, Mishcon de Reya

Its politics, its regulation and a skills issue. I think the trouble is that actually what we were getting from the panel is that other cities are ahead of London and ahead of the UK.  They are focussing perhaps more on the future of technology than we are.


Duncan Walker
Co-Founder and Managing Director, Skyports
McCann Ftizgerald

Skyports is a business that provides vertiports, so mini airports for the emerging passenger and cargo drone market. Hopefully we will see mass transportation using the air which is the underused resource in the cities. We are just seeing the emergence of passenger carrying vehicles so within the next three to five years we’ll see people flying around by drones for the same price as an Uber.


Phill Davies
Co-Founder and Commercial Director, Magway

Magway is a sustainable delivery utility. We take parcels off vehicles and the vehicles off the road. The UK has just committed to zero emissions by 2050. As part of that commitment to zero emissions there is lots of pipes under the centre of cities that are being decommissioned, gas pipes for example, so we can reverse engineer into some of those pipes as well as lay new infrastructure. 


Andrew Blogg
Co-Founder and Director, Future Aerial Innovations

We’ve kind of had 10 years of kind of finding our feet in the drone industry in the UK and across Europe but I think we are at a catalyst now where we are going to see a real emergency of drones being used in everyday tasks.


Susan freeman
Partner, Mishcon de Reya

We need to get up to speed very quickly and we need to find ways to do it and I think there is a really interesting message from Heidi Alexander that there are huge opportunities for the public sector and private sector to work together to make some of this happen and that’s the space we are very much in at Mishcon de Reya.

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