EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – The majority of trips people take fall within 0-8 km (in the US, roughly 60% of trips) and small, lightweight vehicles have become prime candidates to move urbanites around. The micromobility revolution is happening.
Micromobilty covers a large range of vehicles, typically weighing less than 500kg and operating at speeds below 25 km/h. Some of them have existed for centuries and have been propelled into the 21st century by the electric revolution: personal or shared bicycles and e-bikes, cargo bikes, trailer bikes, tricycles, e-scooters…
All over the world, micromobility is on the rise and, by 2030, its use will increase by 5 to 10% globally. Many European cities are massively investing in cycling infrastructure, such as Paris which promised, between now and 2026, 180 km of new permanent segregated bike lanes.
Cycle-logistics is also becoming increasingly popular to move goods around and can provide an alternative to the current damaging freight transport model relying on delivery vans.
Despite their potential benefits, micromobility solutions are still facing many challenges. These challenges include:
- charging and parking stations in city centers
- the creation of micro-depots in strategic city locations for cycle-logistics
- improving customer acquisition
- profitability and high operating costs
- integration in the built environment to avoid cluttering and conflicts of usage.
5 complementary strategies between the real estate & micromobility industries
Real estate investors, developers and property owners could help address these challenges while benefiting from new business opportunities and sources of revenues. These benefits for the real estate industry include:
- optimization of underutilized spaces, such as parking lots
- business differentiation by integrating micromobility services within developments
- future-proofing their assets to new consumers’ trends
- potentials in value capture through the design of low-traffic urban neighborhoods
NB: Since the writing of this article, Europe’s leading micromobility operator Tier Mobility purchased Ford-owned US-based operator Spin, growing its global footprint by 106 communities in North America.
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Fabien Clavier is an urban planner, consultant and researcher, based in Singapore. He regularly writes on the future of Asian cities in his newsletter Cities in Mind.