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New urban logistics needs infrastructure innovation

The collision of different technological revolutions that has been observable since about 2012 is challenging society to repurpose its physical infrastructure, according to business transformation expert Sean Culey.

Speaking to Real Asset Media’s Richard Betts, Culey explained that the changing nature of consumer demand – when and where purchases are made and how and where they are delivered – is putting different demands on our built environment.

Sean Culey, business transformation expert.

In a foretaste of the paper that he will deliver at the REALX virtual property show in September, Culey said that as so-called Fifth Wave infrastructure – which included the development of out-of-town retail facilities with massive car parks – is being superceded because there is now a generation that shuns car ownership, it makes sense to repurpose some of this rapidly obsolescent infrastructure.

Some cities are already looking at the conversion of out-of-town shopping facilities and subterranean urban car parks to fit the new wave of demand. One question this raises is how to repurpose these facilities without creating additional congestion as the supply chain shifts to serve the newly imagined urban logistics centres.

Underground tunnels and vacuum tubes are not new technologies, but they are being re-examined among other potential solutions.

DHL’s parcelcopter.