When the COVID-19 pandemic first swept across North America and led to emergency shutdowns during the Spring of 2020, the way people acquired food and household necessities was dramatically impacted. As stay-at-home orders minimized personal travel, transit services were reduced and many stores and restaurants either closed or modified their operations. Some of the gaps were able to be filled by online retailers and delivery services. However, access to goods and services varied substantially depending on people’s age, income level, and physical ability. A new multi-university study funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the U.S. DOT- funded university transportation headquartered at Portland State University, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) captured how households responded as local, state, and federal governments imposed and lifted restrictions, brick-and-mortar establishments closed and reopened, and e-commerce and delivery services adjusted to the changing conditions.
The Knight Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Initiative is a multi-year collaborative effort between the Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon, Cityfi, the cities of Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San José, and Miami-Dade County (the “cohort”) to pilot and learn about automated mobility technologies today to shape the future of deployment tomorrow. This cohort partnered with Kiwibot to learn more about a new technology—sidewalk delivery robots. Through this partnership, Kiwibot tested different use cases and collaborated on community engagement opportunities in each locale. Given the proliferation of bills being passed by state legislatures legalizing deployment of personal delivery devices (PDDs) or sidewalk robots, and the increased delivery demand due to the pandemic, the pilots were well timed to able to meaningfully inform the cohort cities about the potential benefits and challenges of sidewalk delivery robots.
This policy brief summarizes some of the key findings from a comprehensive literature review (submitted for publication) on the impact of shared mobility services and GHG emissions.
Urbanism Next Center Director and Professor Nico Larco testified during the congressional hearing, "The Road Ahead for Automated Vehicles." Professor Larco highlighted the work of Urbanism Next and the potential cascading impacts of autonomous vehicles.
AARP Public Policy Institute, RAND Corporation and Urbanism Next collaborated to better understand the ways in which shared mobility and AVs will be impacting older adults. Through a review of literature, interviews with public and private sector players in this arena, and a roundtable with over 25 experts from around the country, the project team developed a framework that identifies a range of factors around new mobility and AVs that will be affecting older adults’ mobility, independence and safety. The framework is a guide for governments and private sector companies to help them think broadly about impacts, understand barriers, and can serve as an internal checklist to guide future policy, research and development.
Using experience from working on the Knight AV Initiative, Urbanism Next created this white paper to provide a foundation for public sector agencies to approach autonomous vehicle deployment and policy with a focus on equity. This report outlines ways that public agencies can identify community needs and shape deployment to ensure that AVs will be accessible for all.
Before the pandemic, Urbanism Next developed a framework organizing the disruptions to cities caused by emerging transportation technologies on land use, urban design, building design, transportation, and real estate. COVID-19 has disrupted the trajectory of these emerging technologies and will, in turn, change some our original assumptions. This paper revisits the original Urbanism Next framework, taking into account the cascading impacts of the pandemic. This report is one of two reports completed by Urbanism Next on the impacts of Covid-19.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic changing urban living? In this paper, we explore the landscape of COVID-19 disruptions to date on land use and real estate, urban design, building design, transportation, e-commerce and retail, and goods delivery. We also highlight the longer-term questions and potential ongoing impacts COVID-19 might have on the built environment.
The Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon, in partnership with Alta Planning + Design, Spirit for Change, and Metro hosted the Future of Public Spaces and Placemaking workshop on January 24th, 2020. This one-day workshop, supported by the Knight Foundation, brought together a wide range of community activists, government officials, policymakers, urbanists, planners, designers, technology representatives, and other professionals to share ideas and concerns, and to discuss emerging technologies such as new mobility, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), autonomous vehicles (AVs), and e-commerce, and their impacts on urban space and placemaking. The workshop concluded with a site-specific charrette aimed at investigating how communities can best prepare for these changes and adapt their public spaces to create places that are resilient, dynamic, equitable, and sustainable.
The purpose of this study is to go beyond cataloging pilot projects to determine the lessons learned, emerging trends and considerations, and examples of promising practices from pilot projects in the United States and Canada. Researchers assessed 220 pilot projects and 11 case studies. Based on that assessment, they recommend 10 actions for pilot projects generally. The study resulted in 31 lessons learned organized by pilot goals, evaluation, implementation, outcomes, and policy and infrastructure implications.
The purpose of this report is to analyze potential impacts and offer recommendations for the cities of Gresham and Eugene, OR, to understand the potential impacts of new mobility technologies – with an emphasis on autonomous vehicles (AVs) – and prepare a policy and programmatic response. While Gresham and Eugene are case studies, it provides mid-sized communities information on how new mobility services could impact their communities and what they can do about it, from broad strategies to specific policy responses. While this work focuses on the various new mobility and goods delivery services that currently exist, the framework that is discussed here is also applicable to emerging technologies that haven’t yet been introduced, such as autonomous vehicles (AVs).
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a near future reality and the implications of AVs on city development and urban form, while potentially widespread and dramatic, are not well understood. This report describes the first order impacts, or the broad ways that the form and function of cities are already being impacted by forces of change including—but not limited to—AVs and related technologies.
This purpose of this report is to help the cities of Gresham, Oregon and Eugene, Oregon understand the potential impacts of new mobility technologies – with an emphasis on autonomous vehicles (AVs) – and prepare a policy response. While Gresham and Eugene are case studies, it provides communities of all sizes information on how new mobility services could impact their communities and what they can do about it, from broad strategies to specific policy responses. While this work focuses on the various new mobility and goods delivery services that currently exist, the framework that is discussed here is also applicable to emerging technologies that haven’t yet been introduced, such as AVs.
The transportation sector accounts for the largest portion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to all other sectors, and GHGs are once again on the rise. At the same time, new mobility technologies are being introduced and fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) are anticipated to be deployed, at least to varying extents, within 5-10 years. (Waymo, Google’s self-driving project, is already operating a limited robotaxi service in Phoenix, AZ with a fleet of AVs.) AVs have the potential to improve safety, reduce congestion, and increase mobility— but they could also increase congestion, increase vehicle miles/ kilometers traveled (VMT/VKT), and erode transit, walk, and bike mode share, exacerbating existing conditions. The cities of Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and Vancouver, BC have adopted climate action plans with the goal of dramatically reducing GHG emissions. This policy brief is intended to help the three cities better understand how AVs may help or hinder them in achieving their goals, and what recommended actions to take at this critical moment in time.
This report categorizes and summarizes efforts that are already underway in cities across the world to rethink curb management, to outline the key takeaways from the one-day workshop that involved city staff from Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and to identify major research gaps.
The University of Oregon conducted research for the cities of Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver to understand how the deployment of autonomous vehicles may impact greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Based on the range of possible outcomes, the cities hope to better understand the policies and programmatic choices available to mitigate negative impacts of AVs and ensure that they can accomplish the goals stated in their climate action, land use, and transportation plans. By working together, each city hopes to learn from each other—as well as cities from across North America—to achieve their climate-related goals.
This policy paper focuses on the primary concept of the street as space that can be repurposed – real estate that can be allocated in similar or different ways than done currently. Cities generally refer to this publicly owned and regulated space from one side of the street to the other as the right of way (ROW). Our focus is on the centrality of the ROW in dictating many other community functions and values – transportation and otherwise. And our particular bias is to focus on the opportunities that AV technology is likely to create to rethink how the ROW is allocated, so that our communities can meet their substantial and unique environmental, social, and economic challenges.
The goal of this white paper is to consider the impact of AVs on municipal budgets. AVs create a “potential rat’s nest of a budgeting challenge.” This paper seeks to begin the process of untangling that rat’s nest, and provide the foundation for future phases of the project that will consider potential additional revenue sources to fund the infrastructure changes that may come from the integration of AVs as well as land use planning implications.
The invention of the internet introduced a new typology to the marketplace, the online retailer. Omnichannel retail strategies - where a retailer operates through both physical locations and online sales - have become a necessity in today’s market.
Today, warehouses are transforming into massive “mega-distribution centers” located in increasingly suburban areas. However, the rapid delivery expectations of E-commerce will also perpetuate the need for a network of local, smaller-scale supply points.
Residential Preference: the social, environmental, and physical preferences that affect a person or family’s choice of residential location (for our purposes, in relation to the urban core and other amenities offered as a part of living in density) The introduction of autonomous vehicles and the comprehensive integration of E-commerce into the urban and suburban fabric will have a widespread effect on the factors the influence a resident’s location preference.
Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) will impose challenges on cities that are currently difficult to fully envision yet critical to begin addressing. This research makes an incremental step toward quantifying the impacts that AVs by examining current associations between transportation network company (TNC) trips — often viewed as a harbinger of AVs — and parking revenue in Seattle. Using Uber and Lyft trip data combined with parking revenue and built environment data, this research models projected parking revenue in Seattle. Results demonstrate that total revenue generated in each census tract will continue to increase at current rates of TNC trip-making; parking revenue will, however, start to decline if or when trips levels are about 4.7 times higher than the average 2016 level. The results also indicate that per-space parking revenue is likely to increase by about 2.2 percent for each 1,000 additional TNC trips taken if no policy changes are taken. The effects on revenue will vary quite widely by neighborhood, suggesting that a one-size-fits-all policy may not be the best path forward for cities. Instead, flexible and adaptable policies that can more quickly respond (or better yet, be proactive) to changing AV demand will be better suited at managing the changes that will affect parking revenue.
This report is an examination of parking, curb zones, and government service changes in the context of AVs. Given that there are very few actual AVs on the road, the analysis in this report is an attempt to project what we might see, using the current phenomenon as starting points. The report uses a mix of econometric modeling, cost accounting, and case studies to illustrate these projections.
From June to October 2019, researchers at Urbanism Next identified 249 new mobility and AV delivery pilot projects, completed and in-progress, in the United States and Canada. Relevant information about all 249 pilot projects, including sponsoring organizations, key dates, and geographic area, are recorded in this file. This data set provided the foundation of the report Perfecting Policy with Pilots. Ultimately, Urbanism Next used information from 220 of the pilots in the report. The new mobility modes included in this data set include shared micromobility devices such as e-scooters and bikes, transportation network company partnerships, microtransit, autonomous passenger vehicle pilots, autonomous delivery pilots, and non-autonomous goods delivery pilots. The information collected by Urbanism Next researchers is limited to publicly available information collected from online resources, such as reports, government websites, public and private press releases, and news articles as well as a limited number of follow-up phone calls requesting information.