U+ is a conceptual proposition that interweaves cutting edge pragmatics to optimise and enhance an individual’s mobility in and around the city of Cape Town, South Africa. This speculative intervention confronts a range of significant historic, economic and socio-political factors that affect access to the city and its surroundings; dynamics mirrored in other cities across the global South. The resulting mono-vehicle prototype is designed to optimise issues of space, time and energy by proposing a unique form of public transport that engages with questions of mobility justice; access-equity; intermodal and trans-modal mechanisms; commuter-centric design; waiting times; future trends; first and last-mile services; adaptability with public transport; variable terrains; and, more recently, post-pandemic era pragmatics and concerns. Through dynamic addition, a range of U+‘s converts to a fleet—US+—that, collectively, responds to the increased need for public mobility, and in doing so, encourages multi-modal flexibility across differentiated scales.
Prof. Edgar Pieterse, Dr. Philippa Tumubweinee
Heeten Bhagat, Emma Bracher, Brendon Clack, Tankiso Hantsi, Divine Masako, Dineo Mogotsi, Paul Richardson, Martin Wilson, Daniel Xu