(Credit: James Startt/Yards)

Urban nomadism

Our daily journeys have redefined our sense of space and time: more than a necessity, mobility has become a credo.

The world’s urban population is growing rapidly, with profound repercussions on personal mobility. Cities are jammed with a constant flow of people — every week, an average working adult in the UK spends 18 hours using any form of transportation. Sedentary habits are being replaced by on-the-go living experiences as city dwellers now spend a big chunk of their time out of home, rushing from one side of the city to the other in fast-paced hectic environments. From car sharing services to hoverboards, people are experiencing new modes of transportation to cover short distances, both for work and leisure. More than a necessity, mobility has become an approach to life: urban nomads have embraced Airbnb’s ‘Belong Anywhere’ philosophy and expect mobility to feel as cosy as home.

Feeling at home everywhere — Cold, impersonal places like subway stations and airport waiting areas bring down the mood of city dwellers who are constantly on the move. There is an opportunity here for brands to inject warmth and intimacy into these transit areas.

In 2015, Ikea recreated life-sized living rooms in Paris’ busy metro stations.
40 min. is the average time people in major U.S. cities spend waiting for public transport every day.

Digital fluidity brought to real life — Digital devices have profoundly changed our sense of time and space. From Uber to food delivery apps, we expect everything we order to be brought instantly to our doorstep. Cities have become a world of ubiquitous touchpoints, with free Wi-Fi spots, cashless vending machines and shoppable touchscreens made available at every corner.

8M consumers in the UK visited at least one of the top three food delivery services in March 2016.
Tesco leveraged South Korea’s hypermobility by introducing virtual stores on walls of metro stations and bus stops. Online sales have increased by 130% since the service was launched.

Into the urban wild — Cities are concrete jungles: every day, commuters are faced with traffic jams, crowded subways, and harsh weather conditions. To survive in this hostile environment, they need to be properly equipped, from highly versatile backpacks to water-resistant jeans and reflective gear. To entice these modern adventurers, brands like Aigle, Herschel Supply Co, Nike, Patagonia and The North Face have embraced the backpacking spirit, turning it into a lifestyle for everyday, whether in the city or the great outdoors.

Aigle’s 2014 campaign “It’s wild out there.”