An insight into the symbiotic relationships of obfuscated urban streetscapes as a result of technological innovation in mobility



SINCE the horse-drawn carriage, mobility has changed the way we move around in cities. After the introduction of the steam-engine during the industrial revolution, there was a boom that enabled cities to work together with a fast-growing industry. This iconic moment of the rise of the automobile was reflected in the way city streets were planned and designed. Prioritizing the requirements of the automobile, streets were wider, and road-networks were denser. As the cities became overwhelmed with the rising number of vehicles, negative effects were able to be observed. In order to preserve the health and safety of citizens, cities turned to sustainable methods of designing which introduced the idea of pedestrianization. This concept remodeled streetscapes into greener areas with a reduced number of private vehicles and an increased number of public transportation modes.

WITH the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, the mobility industry saw an opportunity to grow even further. This resulted in the birth of autonomous vehicles, sustainable mobility and smart cities. Currently, there are urban planning proposals that are determined to demonstrate this holistic integration of human and technology. To understand this relationship, symbiosis was used as an overlay to study the different levels of integration of human and technology whereby city street elements are viewed as symbionts. The biological concept of symbiosis is adopted together with concepts from Lynn Margulis’ book – Symbiotic Planet to establish patterns in “living requirements” between pedestrian and transportation in urban environments.


Symbiotic Mobility is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master of Advanced Architecture 2019/20 by:
Student: Surayyn Uthaya Selvan
Faculty: Jordi Vivaldi and Manuel Gausa