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Arcadis: Natalie Sauber discusses the future of mobility in cities

Arcadis: Natalie Sauber discusses the future of mobility in cities

 August 14, 2019

Do you like the idea of joining a company with ideas at the cutting edge of future mobility? We know that the way people travel around cities is changing. Citizens want a seamless experience that makes the best of new technologies coupled with existing and new transport modes. Driverless cars, cleaner air, less congestion, reduced accidents - Arcadis is undertaking some innovative work and thinking in this area, focusing on people-centric mobility. What will tomorrow’s journey look like? Future mobility is about improving the quality of life - a great purpose for your work, right?

Where Women Work caught up with Mobility Solutions expert at Arcadis, Natalie Sauber, to better understand some of the opportunities and key career areas available for women seeking to forge their careers within this exciting space. In her role, Natalie focuses on macro-trends that influence client business needs. She analyses market data and insight to advise Arcadis’ clients and help shape their strategic business direction in light of trends such as emerging consumer behaviour, new technology and future business models.

Arcadis helps drive future mobility revolution

To put this into perspective; cities are growing and urban populations are rising. With approximately 2.5 billion additional people expected to move to urban areas by 2050, what does this mean for the future of our cities? How can we better facilitate the movement of people and goods in and around these cities, without increasing congestion, road accidents, air pollution, noise and climate change? Arcadis is at the forefront of answering those questions. The company uses its market sector insights, collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services, to deliver sustainable outcomes for its clients.

To get a first-hand feel for some of the challenges and opportunities around future mobility, check out the Arcadis interactive website. This offers users the chance to join Zara and see what her commute to work could look like in the future. You can interact with the website as Jorge, going out to dinner with his friends after a day’s work, or instead take on the role of Norisah, who is visiting her best friend as she moves around a city of the future. Brilliant stuff: try it out!

Some of the most exciting developments in the future mobility space include:

  • Electric vehicle charging points: In the future, suburban stations will have smaller car parks which are re-zoned and adapted for electric vehicle (EV) charging.
  • Railways/Stations: Existing infrastructure must accommodate and be retrofitted to new forms of mobility to remain relevant and sustainable. Digitisation and technological advancement have helped rail networks evolve and modernise.
  • Logistics hubs/Drones: As urbanisation is expected to increase, the movement of people and goods around cities is adding to congestion. Smart logistics hubs along with drone delivery of goods may help alleviate this problem.
  • Roads/Scooter lanes: Cities will re-organise their roads, giving less space to vehicles and instead reallocating to cycle/scooter paths and pedestrian walkways.
  • Connected autonomous vehicles (CAV): The introduction of CAV will mean traffic flows more smoothly and gridlock can be avoided.
  • Mobility-as-a-Service apps (MaaS): MaaS will offer transportation solutions tailored to specific travel needs by integrating mobility options into a single service. This creates a connected experience for people via an app or platform, allowing the user to choose the most efficient mode of travel.
  • Electric Scooters: E-scooters are a popular new form of micro-mobility in many cities across the world. They are considered to be a sustainable and viable solution for some first/last mile transport challenges.
  • Accessible Sidewalks for Pedestrians: In the future, many city roads will have designated cycle lanes and wider sidewalks, creating a healthier and safer environment.

Natalie is helping lead the future mobility movement


To analyse future mobility solutions, Arcadis needs a top team. One of the women at the forefront of this area is Market Intelligence and Mobility Solutions Lead, Natalie Sauber. Natalie spends her days as a future-thinker considering all the opportunities and issues associated with future mobility and city transformation.

“I joined Arcadis at a really exciting time, not only with the rapid growth of the Manufacturing and Technology team, but also in terms of the huge impact that data and the use of data-driven insights is having on the future of the entire business,” explains Natalie.

In her position, Natalie is instrumental to shaping how Arcadis can use the plethora of market research and intelligence available to help its clients navigate the dynamic future mobility business environment.

Discussing the Future of City Mobility, Natalie suggests: “We need better mobility, but we must do it in a smarter way. Intelligent transportation systems rely on an integrated approach between infrastructure, technology and the legal framework. At present, information and communications technology (ICT) is currently used by last mile delivery companies to increase efficiency of their own routes. What we need is the development of an ICT infrastructure that centrally captures flows of all goods to plan the most efficient routing.”

At Arcadis, Natalie seeks to understand the entire ecosystem and not just a small portion of it. In a recent though piece entitled Technology is Changing the Future of Logistics she says: “Changing consumer expectations, new market entrants fueled by new technology, and new business models are revolutionising the logistics industry. In today’s world of one click / one day delivery, customers want a seamless, fast and free omni-channel shopping experience. This whatever-whenever-wherever approach means that goods must travel from multiple pickup locations such as distribution centres and warehouses, to various destinations, including private homes, office, stores or lockers.”

Natalie describes cities as the best playground for new mobility solutions. “The ultimate goal should be smart mobility: a combination of electrification, connectivity and automation to achieve six zeros: zero emissions, zero energy (Electric Vehicles charged by sustainable electricity generation), zero congestion, zero accidents, zero empty (ensuring all space is used within last mile delivery vehicles) and zero cost (shared ownership means lower maintenance costs),” says Natalie.

Listen to Natalie in a fascinating podcast here and take a deep dive into emerging technologies impacting future mobility to explore what people really think and what the impact on people and their communities may be. The mentality of having everything instantaneously, getting everywhere incredibly quickly and incredibly cheaply may not actually be sustainable for everyone - and this is a challenge to the whole industry. We need to start engaging with the public and letting them touch, feel and understand what the impact of driverless vehicles might be.

Data, security, connected cars - is future mobility a good thing? In another podcast, Natalie talks about cybersecurity and the public perception around autonomous vehicles. Will driverless cars mean transport for all and what do cities need to do to get ready for them? Tune in to this fascinating podcast hosted by Arcadis and WIRED Magazine to find out more about consumer confidence, liability, privacy and equality, and the future of driverless cars in urban cities.

Can drone delivery help alleviate congestion?

A topic of particular interest to Natalie is drone delivery. As urbanisation is expected to increase, the movement of people and goods around cities is adding to congestion. Arcadis predicts that smart logistics hubs along with drone delivery of goods may help alleviate this problem. For example, under-utilised space in station car parks may be developed into depots by logistics companies that use drones to make deliveries instead of vans - this could result in less busy roads and cleaner air.

In the video, Natalie disciusses drone delivery in cities saying, “If you’re talking about drone delivery, you will probably have to think about air regulations, or mobility drones, minibots. Pedestrians are probably the biggest challenge in terms of navigating through busy streets and sidewalks. But also, once you deliver the package to the house – how do you get it up to the right person’s flat or even across the doorstep?”

Natalie explains there are many ways of looking at these challenges. “Companies and job organisations need to work with consumers to try and come up with a sustainable solution together. At the same time, we need to figure out how we can move forward and remain human at heart - and not turn into robots,” comments Natalie.

Forge an exciting career in future mobility at Arcadis

Arcadi drones

As the pace of technological disruption continues to pick up speed, market insight and data driven decisions are becoming ever more paramount. This is an incredibly exciting area to move your career towards.

Arcadis offer a range of exciting roles throughout the company, from focusing on future mobility through to strategic research and insight, project management, design, consultancy and engineering. Search and apply today to become part of Arcadis tomorrow.


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