“The built environment is a source of opportunities or obstacles”
Why are infrastructures a question of social justice? How can urban spaces be reinvented to become accessible to the greatest number?
In this fascinating discussion, Pedro Homem de Gouveia explains how he came to understand that infrastructure and mobility create barriers or opportunities in people’s lives. Pedro underlines why it is necessary to be vigilant against cultural prejudices and why mobility issues require above all an understanding of the users’ habits. He informs us about gender and safety issues in public transport, arguing that these issues are not externalities but must be put at the heart of urban network development policies.
Pedro demonstrates that when it comes to mobility and experiencing city life, solutions are often within reach, but they often require a different perspective. Therefore, Pedro encourages professionals from other sectors, from psychology to marketing, to take an interest in transport and infrastructure issues in order to better meet users’ needs.
Pedro illustrates his remarks with examples that he has noted over the course of time and his discoveries, as an architect and advisor to the city of Lisbon or as senior policy and project manager at POLIS, the network of cities and regions for transport innovation.
“Public transport is the backbone of urban mobility (…) but you just don’t go walking around with a backbone: you need legs, and feet, and fingers. And if you’re going to do something, you also need arms, and hands, and fingers. (…) If we want people to shift away from their private cars into sustainable mobility, we have to foster the emergence of an alternative ecosystem of modes that work together”.
Since 2019, Pedro Homem de Gouveia coordinates POLIS’ Working Group for Governance & Integration, which is focused on policymaking for innovation and public participation. He also coordinates the Working Group for Safety and Security, aiming to make city streets safe and transport systems secure. Before joining POLIS, Pedro worked for more than 20 years for the city of Lisbon, in Portugal, as a strategist and advisor.
Find Pedro Homem de Gouveia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pedro-homem-de-gouveia-304ab010/